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St. Patrick's Day History and Traditions
This holiday is celebrated every year on March 17th, honoring the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. The celebrations are largely Irish culture themed and typically consist of wearing green, parades, and drinking. Some churches may hold religious services and many schools and offices close in Suffolk County, the area containing Boston and its suburbs.
People all over the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day, especially places with large Irish-American communities. Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd's pie. Many celebrations also hold an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes. Common traditions include:
The History f St. Patrick's Day and why it's celebrated
St. Patrick's Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. This first celebration of the holiday in the colonies was largely to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from.
Early celebrations continued this modest tradition. In New York, the first celebration took place as a small gathering at the home of an Irish protestant. St. Patrick's Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade, as they often feature marching military unites. The holiday eventually evolved from the modest religious dinner into the raucous holiday we know today.
Worldwide St. Patrick's Day Parades and Celebrations
Parades and wearing green have always been a traditional part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but the events will vary based on the city:
Saint Patrick's Day Top Events and Things to Do
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The world’s most famous commuter thought he was meeting friends for lunch Friday to close out a wild week in the spotlight.
But James Robertson, whose 21-mile round-trip work commute garnered worldwide attention and more than $300,000 in donations, got more than just lunch. The 56-year-old is now the owner of a brand new 2015 Ford Taurus.
Blake Pollack, who befriended Robertson 1½ years ago and has helped drive him to media interviews all week, helped pull off the surprise, suggesting they stop by a car dealership after lunch to pick up some brochures and start researching cars. Robertson and Pollack were joined by Evan Leedy, the college student who set up a GoFundMe page on Robertson’s behalf. They walked into Suburban Ford in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and instead of brochures, saw a shiny red car topped with a big bow.
“There must’ve been 200 people there to welcome him,” Pollack said. “I thought he was going to fall over.” When asked if he liked his new car, which has already been insured, Pollack said Robertson was quite clear.
“I don’t like it,” he said. “I love it.”
Before receiving his new wheels, Robertson had trudged the better part of a marathon each workday, taking buses part of the way — rain, snow or shine. But he never thought it was any big deal.
“I never thought anything I did would garner this much attention,” Robertson said.
After reading about Robertson’s commute in a Detroit Free Press article that went viral, Leedy was moved. Like Robertson, the 19-year-old lives and works in two counties, so he spends a great deal of time commuting himself. But Leedy has a car.
Leedy decided to set up an online fundraiser to buy Robertson a car.
“My first car cost $3,000,” Leedy said, “So I set the goal at $5,000. Within an hour, we’d raised $2,000.”
Leedy’s fundraiser quickly blew past its original goal and had raised nearly $313,000 Friday evening. Leedy said he plans to stop taking donations on Sunday.
Robertson, in a video message posted on the Free Press website, gave thanks.
“Everybody calls me the inspiration, but to those who have been great enough to donate and everything … it was really so welcome that I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “You guys are the heroes.”