Saint Patrick's Day

Where was the first Saint Patrick's Day parade?

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February 28, 2012 8:33PM

  • The first organized parade was in New York. It was Irish soldiers serving in the British army during the American Revolution.
  • In Ireland it was originally more of a religious festival, with people attending mass, doing patterns or rounds, visiting holy wells etc.
  • The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society.

Here are some additional historical facts with a link to an interesting article:

  • Imported to America and other countries by nostalgic Irish immigrants, the hallowed festival was launched in their newly-settled homelands to inspire unity, assert a presence, and to celebrate their cultural integration.
  • After Irish immigrants found their way to America, the Colonies celebrated St Patrick's Day for the first time in Boston, in 1737.
  • In New York City, the earliest celebration was held in 1756 at the Crown and Thistle Tavern, according to the U.S. Department of International Information programs.
  • Parades were not initially included in the activities.
  • The first St. Patrick's Day parade was born in Manhattan, on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City streets accompanied by the bold familiar command of highland bagpipes, ancient instruments capable of emitting a haunting shrill wail exploited by early Celtic soldiers to intimidate the enemy.