St. Patrick’s Day
Being American, my genetics come from many different countries, but growing up around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area one holiday that myself and many others
around my area celebrate is Saint Patrick’s Day. A lot of people around the area will wear green for the day, drink green beer, and attend St. Patty’s Day parades (even in small towns). The parades in my area are usually put together by the fire and police departments, as a large majority of the members are of Irish ancestry. Even McDonalds will make shamrock milkshakes and are a huge hit among people in the area, in case you haven’t had one, they are not made with clovers or anything like that. Even though the holiday is celebrated by so many, not just here, but all around the world, a lot of people don’t even know the actual story behind it.
Who Was Saint Patrick?
So, here we are with the question of who was Saint Patrick? He was a 5th century Romano-British Christian missionary and a bishop of Ireland. He is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and the primary patron saint of the island. Not only is he celebrated in Ireland but he’s also venerated in Anglican Communion, the Old Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He’s seen as equal-to-apostles and the En-lightener of Ireland.
The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be stated with absolute certainty, but there is somewhat of an agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the 5th century. The early medieval tradition would credit him with being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. They would regard him as the founder of Christianity in Ireland who had converted a society that was, at the time practicing a form of Celtic polytheism. He has been greatly regarded ever since, even though there is evidence that shows that there was some earlier Christian presence in the area.
According to the Confessio of Patrick, when he was just sixteen years of age he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland. He’d look after animals and lived there for the next six years before he’d escape and return to his family. After he became a cleric, Patrick returned to the northern and western part of Ireland. During his later life, he would serve as a bishop, but there is only little known about the places where he had worked.
By the time of the 7th century he’d already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland. The supposed date of Saint Patrick’s death is the 17th of March, hence observing Saint Patrick’s Day on this date. Not only is the holiday celebrated in Ireland but also throughout the rest of the world, as both a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is a solemnity and a holy day of obligation, it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.
The Life of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain. His father was Calpurnius and was a decurion and deacon. His grandfather’s name was Potitus and was a priest from Banna Venta Berniae, a location that is otherwise unknown. It has been identified in one tradition as Glannoventa, or modern Ravenglass in Cumbria, England.
Patrick was not always an active believer. According to the Confessions of St. Patrick, as was stated above, Patrick had been captured by a group of Irish pirates that brought him to Ireland where he was enslaved and held as their captive for six years. Patrick writes that the time that he spent as their captive was critical for his spiritual development. He goes on to explain that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance and gave him the opportunity to be forgiven for his sins. Dring his time in captivity, Saint Patrick had worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer, which eventually led him to converting to Christianity.
After six years he heard a voice telling him that he’d soon be able to return home and that his ship was ready. Patrick fled from his master and traveled to a port that was two hundred miles away. It was there that he found a ship, and with some difficulty he was able to persuade the captain to let him aboard. After three days of sailing they landed, presumably in Britain, apparently all left the ship, walked for twenty-eight days in “wilderness” and began to faint from hunger. Once Patrick prayed for sustenance, they found a herd of wild boar. Since this wasn’t long after Patrick urged them to put their faith in God, his prestige in the group was greatly increased.
After various adventures, Patrick returned home to his family, sometime in his early twenties. Once returning to Britain, Patrick continued to study Christianity. He recounts that he had a vision a few years after returning home by writing:
“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many leters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”
A. B. E. Hood suggests that the Victoricus of Saint Patrick’s vision might be identified with Saint Victricius, the bishop of Rouen from the later 4th century. He had visited Britain officially in 396. Acting on the vision, Patrick returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. According to J.B. Bury, Patrick’s landing place was at Wicklow in County Wicklow, at the mouth of the river Inver-dea, now known as the Vartry. Bury goes on to suggest that Wicklow was also the port of which Patrick made his escape from after his captivity, but he offers only circumstantial evidence for this. Tradition has it that Saint Patrick wasn’t welcomed by the locals and had been forced to leave to seek a more welcoming area for his landing further to the north. He would rest for some days at the islands off the Skerries coast, one of which still retains name of Inis-Patrick. The first sanctuary that was dedicated by Saint Patrick was at Saul. Shortly after its dedication, Benin (or Benignus), the son of chieftain Secsnen, had joined Patrick’s group.
A lot of the Declaration concerns charges that were made against St. Patrick by his fellow Christians at a trial. What the exact charges were, he doesn’t exactly say, but does write that he had returned gifts that wealthy women had given to him. He also didn’t accept payment for baptisms, nor for ordaining priests, and he indeed paid for many gifts to kings and judges as well as for the sons of chiefs to accompany him. Therefore, it has been concluded that Patrick was accused of some kind of financial impropriety and might have obtained his bishopric in Ireland with personal gain in mind.
From this same evidence, something can be seen of Saint Patrick’s mission. He writes that he “baptised thousands of people” and ordained priests to lead new Christian communities. He also converted wealthy women, some of which became nuns in the face of family opposition. Patrick had also dealt with sons of kings and converted them as well. The Confessio is generally vague about the details of his work in Ireland, though it does give some specific instances. This is partly because, as he says at points, he was writing for a local audience of Christians who had known him and his work. There are several mentions of Patrick traveling around the island and sometimes his difficult interactions with the chiefly elite. The following is a claim that Patrick made of the Irish:
“Never before did they know of God except to serve idols and unclean things. But now, they have become the people of the Lord, and are called children of God. The sons and daughters of the leaders of the Irish are seen to be monks and virgins of Christ!”
Patrick’s position as a foreigner in Ireland wasn’t an easy one. His refusal to accept the gifts of kings placed him on the outside of the normal ties of kinship, fosterage and affinity. Legally he was without any protection and he says that he was on one occasion beaten, robbed of all of his belongings, and put in chains, and had possibly been awaiting execution. He goes on to say that he was also “many years later” a captive for sixty days, without giving any details as to why.
Murchiu’s life of Saint Patrick contains a supposed prophecy by the druids that gives the impression of how Patrick and other Christian missionaries were seen by those that were hostile towards him:
“Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head, his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head. He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house; all his people will answer. “So be it, so be it.”
A second piece of evidence that comes from Patrick’s life is the Letter to Coroticus or the Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, which was written after the first remonstrance and was received with ridicule and insult. In this, Patrick writes an open letter that announces he has excommunicated Coroticus because he had taken some of Saint Patrick’s converts into slavery while he was raiding Ireland. The letter describes followers of Coroticus as “fellow citizens of the devils” and “associates of the Scots [of Dalriada and later Argyll] and Apostate Picts”. Based largely on the 8th century gloss, Coroticus is taken to have been King Ceretic of Alt Clut. Thompson, however, proposed that, based on evidence it’s more likely that he was a British Roman that was living in Ireland. It’s been suggested that it was the letter being sent that provoked the trial that Patrick mentions in his Confession.
As stated above, dates of Patrick’s life are uncertain. There are conflicting traditions regarding the year of his death. Even in Patrick’s own writings there is no evidence for dating any more precise than generally the 5th century. A letter to Corotucus, written by Saint Patrick, implies that the Franks were still pagans at the time of the letter’s writing, their conversion to Christianity has been dated to between 496 to 508.
The Irish Annals for the 5th century date Patrick’s arrival in Ireland at 432, but they were compiled in the mid-6th century at the earliest. The date of 432 was probably chosen to minimize the contribution of Palladius, who was known to have been sent to Ireland in 431 and maximize that of Patrick. A variety of dates are given for Patrick’s death, 457 was when “the elder Patrick” is said to have died, but this may refer to the passing of Palladius, who, according to the Book of Armagh was also called Patrick. The year of 461 is when the annals say that “Here some record the repose of Patrick”. Then in 492, they record the death of “Patrick, the arch-apostle (or archbishop and apostle) of the Scoti” on the 17th of March, at the age of 120.
Some modern historians accept the earlier date of about 460 for Patrick’s death. Scholars of early Irish history tend to prefer the later date of about 493. Supporting the later date, the annals record that in 553 “the relics of Patrick were placed sixty years after the death in a shrine at Colum Cille”. The death of Patrick’s disciple Mochta has been dated in the annals to 535 or 537, and early hagiographies “all bring Patrick into contact with persons whose orbits occur at the end of the fifth century or the beginning of the sixth”. However, E. A. Thompson argues that none of the dates that are given for Patrick’s death in the Annals are reliable.
The “Two Patrick” Theory
An Irish academic by the name of T. F. O’Rahilly proposed a theory known as “The Two Patricks” theory. It suggests that many of the traditions that were later attached to Saint Patrick had actually concerned Palladius, who Prosper of Aquitaine’s Chronicle says was sent by Pope Celestine I as the first bishop to Irish Christians in 431. Palladius wasn’t the only early cleric in Ireland at this time. The Irish born Saint Ciaran of Saigir lived in the later part of the 4th century and was the first bishop of Ossory. Ciaran, along with the saints Auxillius, Secundinus and Iseminus are also associated with the early church in Munster and Leinster. By this reading, Palladius was active in Ireland until the 460s.
Prosper associates Palladius’ appointment with visits of Germanus of Auxerre to Britain to suppress Pelagianism and it’s been suggested that Palladius and his colleauges had been sent to Ireland to ensure the Pelagians that were exiled didn’t establish themselves among the Irish Christians. The appointment of Palladius and his fellow-bishops wasn’t the obvious mission to convert the Irish, but it was more probably intended to minister to the existing Christian communities in Ireland. The sites of churches that were associated with Palladius and his colleauges are close to the royal centers of the time. Secundus is remembered by Dunshaughlin in County Meath, it’s close to the Hill of Tara, which is associated with the High King of Ireland. Killashee is in County Kildare and close to Naas, with links with the kings of Leinster and probably is named for Auxilus. This activity was limited to the southern half of Ireland and there’s no evidence for them in Ulster or Connacht.
Although the evidence is clear for contacts with Gaul, the borrowings from Latin into Old Irish show that links with Roman Britain were many. Iserninus, who appears to have been of the generation of Palladius, is thought to have been a Briton and is associated with the lands of Ui Ceinnselaig in Leinster. The Palladian mission shouldn’t be contrasted with later “British” missions, but does form a part of them, nor can the work of Palladius be uncritically equated with that of Saint Patrick, as was once traditional.
Legend credits Saint Patrick with having taught the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing the Irish the shamrock. He had used the three-leafed plant to illustrate the Christian teaching of the three persons in one God. This story first appears in a writing in 1726, even though it might be older. The shamrock has since become a central symbol for Saint Patrick’s Day.
In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities, a fact that may have aided Saint Patrick in his evangelization efforts he he “held up a shamrock and discoursed on the Christian Trinity” Patricia Moaghan says that there is no evidence that the shamrock was sacred to the pagan Irish. However, Jack Santino speculates that it might have represented the regenerative powers of nature, and that it was recast in the Christian context. Icons of St. Patrick often depict the saint “with a cross in one hand and a sprig of shamrocks in the other”. Roger Homan writes, “We can perhaps see St. Patrick drawing upon the visual concept of the triskele when he uses the shamrock to explain the Trinity”.
Another legend surrounding Saint Patrick arises with the absence of snakes in Ireland. The legend says that all snakes had been banished from the island by Saint Patrick. It says that he chased them into the sea after they had attacked him during a forty day fast that he was undertaking on the top of a hill. This hagiographic theme draws on the Biblical account of the staff of the prophet Moses in Exodus 7:8 – 7:13. Moses and his brother Aaron use their staffs in the struggle with Pharaoh’s sorcerers. The staffs of each side morphed into snakes and Aaron’s snake-staff prevailed by consuming the other snakes. However, all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes. “At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so [there was] nothing for St. Patrick to banish,” says naturalist Nigel Monaghan, who’s the keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Monaghan has also extensively searched through the Irish fossil collections and records.
There are some Irish legends that involve Oillipheist, the Caoranach and the Copog Phadraig. During his evangelizing journey back to Ireland from his parent’s home at Birdoswald, Patrick is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff. He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelizing and at the place that is now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick). The message of the dogma had taken so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time Patrick was ready to move on to his next destination.
Sainthood and Modern Remembrance
The date of the 17th of March is popularly known as Saint Patrick’s Day, as it is believed to have been the date of Patrick’s death and is the date that is used to celebrate his Feast Day. The date became his Feast Day in the Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, who, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary in the early part of the 17th century.
For most of Christianity’s first thousand years, canonizations were done on the diocesan or regional level. Not long after the death of people that were considered to be holy, the local church affirmed that they could be liturgically celebrated as saints. As a result, Saint Patrick has never been formally canonized by a Pope. Nevertheless, various Christian churches declare that he is a Saint in Heaven.
Saint Patrick is also honored with a Feast Day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcoapl Church in the United States, as well as with a commemoration on the calendar of the Evangelical Lutheran worshipers, both occur on the 17th of March. He’s also venerated in the Orthodox Church, especially among English-speaking Orthodox Christians that live in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. There are also Orthodox icons that are dedicated to him.
Patrick is said to have been buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, located in County Down. He’s said to have been buried next to St. Brigid and St. Columba, even though this has never been proven. The Saint Patrick Visitor Centre is a modern exhibition complex that is also in Downpatrick and is a permanent interpretive exhibition center that features interactive displays on the life and story of Patrick and provides the only permanent exhibition center in the world that’s devoted to Saint Patrick.
Saint Patrick’s Day Around the World
How Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated through the world is pretty similar, but there are some differences. Of course when talking about St. Patrick’s Day you have to discuss how the Irish celebrate it. It’s probably fair to say that nowhere else in the world can one find festivities that match the excitement and atmosphere of the day than in Ireland itself. For those in Ireland, the day is more of a religious holiday similar to that of Christmas and Easter.
Many Irish will start the day off by attending mass and offering prayers for the Saint and missionaries all over the world. Aftewards the people will flock to their local village or town to either take part in or view the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this is where the real celebrations begin. Between grand parades, community feasts, charity shows, and mass, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with great gusto in Ireland. Parades, shamrocks and green beer are provided mainly for tourists. In fact, it has turned out to be one of the most celebrated events in Ireland and are a major tourist attraction.
Having parades in Ireland date from the late 19th century and originate in the growing sense of Irish nationalism. The parade in Dublin is part of a five-day festival with over 500,000 people that attended the 2006 parade. Bands, music, dance, shamrock, leprechauns, green colored clothing and loads of power packed performances make up the parades on this day and is truly a sight to behold.
With the exception of pubs and restaurants, everything is closed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. Many of the Irish will wear a bunch of shamrocks on their lapels or caps, or green, white and orange badges, as these are the colors of the Irish flag. Girls and boys wear green in their hair, artists will draw shamrock designs on people’s cheeks as a cultural sign, including American tourists.
The biggest celebrations in Ireland, outside of Dublin, are in Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. This is the place of which Patrick is supposed to be buried. In 2004, according to the Down District Council, the week-long Saint Patrick’s Festival had over 2,000 participants and eighty-two floats, as well as bands and performers, and was watched by over 30,000 people.
Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade is held in Birmingham with over a two mile parade route through the city center. Other parades are held around the country, including in London, where the largest minority community is Irish. In Lanarkshire, the town of Coatbridge, where the majority of the town’s population are of Irish descent, also had a day of celebration with parades in the town center. In Birmingham, the St. Patrick’s Festival is one of the city’s major community events, with the Irish community numbering around 140,000 people.
Manchester, England hosts a two week Irish festival leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day. This is not surprising as the city claims to have the largest Irish population in Great Britain outside of London and those of course in northern Ireland. Their festival includes an Irish Market that is based at the city’s town hall and will fly the Irish tricolor flag opposite the Union flag. A large parade is also held here. Manchester claims to have the biggest parade outside of Dublin and New York City, based on their entrants and float numbers. The city also holds a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two week time period.
Celebrations are also held in Florence, Italy. The city will host “Festa Irlandese”, which is a ten day celebration with live music, food and drink. The event takes place in a huge tent and attracts thousands of visitors who avidly consume Italian interpretations of Irish food and drink, including potato soup, beef in Guinness, smoked salmon and gallons of stout.
In Oslo, Norway, the Irish community celebrates with a lively parade through the city. Nearly a thousand people join in on the fun. The parade starts off through the shopping streets, pas Oslo Cathedral and on to the Town Hall Square, leading to some entertainment. The parade is accompanied by a pipe band and a Saint Patrick that is driven by a red-bearded chauffer in a horse and cart. A host of other colorful Irish characters will also ride on the horse-drawn cart.
Munich, Germany holds a parade also, owing to the city’s considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996. It has evolved into the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in continental Europe and features not only Irish, Scots and English, but also German clubs and societies. After a 2 kilometer parade, that usually takes place the Sunday before the 17th of March, is an open air party with live music and dance performances.
Russia also celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day. On the 15th of March 1992, thousands of Muscovites lined Novy Arbat to witness the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the Russian capital’s history. Yuri Luzhkov, the Mayor of Moscow, Aer Rianta, the Chief Executive and Derek Keogh were on the reviewing stand as a police escort led the way for the Russian marching bands. Cossack horsemen and fifteen floats representing many Russian companies also took part in the parade. The parade was the brainchild of Derek Keogh, and was a big success, which would ensure a repeat performance in the following year.
During each year of the parade, floats have become more numerous and sophisticated and the range of international and Russian participants and sponsors grow to be more wide-ranging, such as Pepsi and Guinness. Local Irish bars in Moscow contribute their own floats and Muscovites reveal their own home-grown Irish Wolfhounds, which are nearly as big as the floats themselves. The Moscow parade continued to be an annual event until 1998 when the economic collapse occurred in Russia during August of 1998, which meant that the 1999 parade had been canceled. In 2000, the St. Patrick’s Society of Russia managed to re-establish the parade with the cooperation of the Moscow city government. Moscow police, various government bodies, the Irish embassy and Irish community in Moscow are all involved in the parade.
In the United States, the early Irish immigrants, like the English, Dutch, German, French and the likes, brought their traditions with them when they immigrated. It was not until 1737 though that immigrants really started to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in the country. During the first civic and public celebration, the then thirteen colonies, organized what was the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the colonies. It was held on the 17th of March 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts, and was started by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.
The first celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in New York City was at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756.
The city’s first parade was held on the 17th of March 1762 by the Irish soldiers in the British Army. The parade has occurred in NYC every years since then and now draws more than a million specators each year. During 1780, General George Washington had commanded the soldiers of Irish dsecent in the Continental Army to allow the troops a holiday on the 17th of March. This event came to be known as The Saint Patrick’s Day Encampment of 1780. Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in America by the Irish and non-Irish alike.
Within the United States, Americans celebrate the holiday by wearing green clothing, many people, regardless of their ethnic background will participate in the ritual and will also wear other green items. Traditionally, those who were caught not wearing green were pinched. Alcohol is the center of many Americans celebrations of the holiday.
Some cities will paint their traffic stripe green within the area of their parade route. Savannah, Georgia also dyes its downtown city fountains green and in Indianapolis, Indiana the people will dye the Central Canal green. The University of Missouri Rolla, St. Pat’s Board Alumni will paint twelve city blocks Kelly green with mops before their Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
In the United States man people also have made the holiday a celebration of the color green. These people, besides wearing green on this day, might also have dinner parties that feature all green foods. Corned beef and cabbage is the most common meal eaten in the United States on this day, even though it’s of course not all green.
Perhaps the smallest notable parade and the world’s shortest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is said to have taken place in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The parade takes place annually and his held on the historic Bridge Street. The parade became famous in the 1940s when Ripley’s Believe it or Not designated it “The Shortest Street in the World”. The city of Boulder, Colorado, though, claims to have the shortest parade, which is less than a single city block.
The New York City parade has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world. In 2006, more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs. It was watched by close to two million spectators that lined the streets of the parade route. The parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the United States 69th Infantry Regiment. It’s the only New York City parade whose marchers head uptown instead of downtown. New York politicians, or those running for office, are always found prominently marching in the parade. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once proclaimed himself as “Ed O’Koch” for the day, and he still continues to wear an Irish sweater and march in the parade every year, even though he’s no longer in office.
The parade is organized and ran by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. For many years, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade was the primary public function of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. On occasion the Order has appointed controversial Irish republican figures, some of who are barred from the United States, to be Grand Marshal of the parade.
In the years that the 17th of March is on a Sunday, the New York City parade is moved to the previous Saturday, the 16th of March. It is also moved on the rare occasion when, due to Easter falling on the very early date of the 17th of March. This scenario occurred in 2008 when Easter also fell on the 23rd of March. In many other American cities, such as San Francisco, the parade is always held on the Sunday before the 17th of March, regardless of the liturgical calendar.
Saint Patrick’s Day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is consistently ranked as one of the biggest and best of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States. The parade started in 1869 and still continues to draw record amounts of people out to celebrate. Over 23,000 march in the parade each year, and it attracts almost 500,000 out to party. The city will basically shut down for the day to celebrate since the downtown area and many of the city’s bridges and tunnels are so filled with patrons heading out for festivities. Pittsburgh also has one of the highest percentage of its population that identify as Irish, at 13.5%, as any city in the United States.
One of the largest in the nation, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is held on the Sunday before every Saint Patrick’s Day and began in 1771. Prior to the city’s first parade, the Irish were already celebrating the holiday in Philadelphia. George Washington had encouraged the many Irish soldiers under his command during the American Revolution to fete Saint Patrick’s Day. Washington was an honorary member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. The designation of the 17th of March as a day of special observance was a very early Philadelphia custom.
During 2013, the Philadelphia parade included about 20,000 participants in more than 150 groups. Participants included marching bands, youth groups, music dance groups, Irish associations, float riders and operators, and flag carriers. After years of being on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Central Philadelphia, the 2017 parade route started at John F. Kenedy Boulevard and 16th Street. The parade then continues its approach to the Philadelphia City Hall and then down 15th Street around City Hall to approach Market Street. It then goes down Market and past Independence Hall and reaches its conclusion at Penn’s Landing.
As one can see, a large amount of countries do celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, but the ones written here are just a few examples of what occurs around the world. There are also celebrations in Japan, Denmark, and even in South America. Most of the celebrations have some sort of parade that occurs, but other than that a lot of the day’s celebrations can vary.