ND News | March 17, 2016
Why do so many people celebrate and recognize St. Patrick’s Day – even if they’re not Irish at all?
Diarmuid Ó Giolláin, professor of Irish language and literature at the University of Notre Dame and expert on popular religion in Ireland, as well as folklore and popular culture, explains the history and cultural significance of Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick.”
“St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in Montreal in 1759 by Irish soldiers in the British Army who had just conquered Quebec. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York in 1766 was also by Irish soldiers in the British Army. And, on St. Patrick’s Day in 1768 in Montserrat (known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean), slaves revolted against the largely Irish Catholic plantation owners – a good reason for their descendants to celebrate the festival today.