A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Chicago Style

(Photo challenge response will be posted tomorrow.)

St. Patrick’s Day was originally created in honor of one of Ireland’s most favored saints.  Saint Patrick was actually born in Britain in the early part of the fifth century.  He was kidnapped at the age of sixteen, and brought over to Ireland to serve as a slave.  Despite the fact that he managed to escape captivity, he later returned to Ireland and is credited with spreading the Christian religion to its native people.  While rumors claim that he died on March 17, 461, the day was not observed as a holiday until the late ninth/early tenth century (as a Roman Catholic feast day) or celebrated until the late eighteenth century (when the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held – in the United States, of all places).

For those of you unaware of how the city of Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s Day – let me clue you in.  In the mid-1900’s, green dye was released into the Chicago River as a means to track the overwhelming amounts of waste leakage destroying the city’s ecosystem.  According to Chicago legend, the business manager of the local plumbers’ union – the same union that sponsored the yearly Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade – saw the green dye in the river – and had an epiphany.  The river has been dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day since.  To check out what the Chicago River looked like this year for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, click on this link.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!


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