Scenic USA - Illinois

Chicago River (St Patrick's Day Traditions)

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St Patrick's Day Traditions - Chicago River, Illinois

Photos by Wei O'Connell
Wei's PBase Gallery

     Patron Saint of Ireland, 5th century St. Patrick is best known for driving the snakes from his country. Credited for bringing Christianity to the Irish people, St. Patrick's link to eradicating snakes may be more of a symbolic legend suggesting the end of pagan worship.
     America has celebrated St. Patrick from its earliest days, with the first St. Patrick's Day parade held in New York City. In 1762, Irish soldiers marched in the street, played their music, and proudly celebrated their Irish Heritage. Chicago River When the great potato famine drove a million immigrants to America, Irish patriotism flourish, parades were united and Saint Patrick Day became the largest civilian parade day in America.
     Even though March 17th is marked as Saint Patrick's Day on the calendar, most Chicago celebrations are held on the Saturday before. As it's been customary for over a thousand years, Lenten prohibitions are waived, and the Irish can drink and feast on a traditional dish of Irish bacon and cabbage.
     Chicago is also famous for another unique traditional event. On Saturday morning at 10:45, 40 pounds of dye change the Chicago River into a beautiful emerald green. The tradition dates back to 1962 when city workers used dye to trace illegal discharges. Today, the river turns green for a few hours and everyone is Irish for the day.

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