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You will find information about the West Valley side of the Phoenix Metro area. "Snappy" will also feature attractions and places throughout Arizona.

Arizona is more than the Grand Canyon state, it is a place to embrace and call home. From our famous palm trees to our beautiful pine trees, Arizona's landscape is brimming with nature's grandeur and diversity. Our majestic mountains invite you to climb, our valleys coax you to explore and our plains whisper stories of civilizations past. Saddle up to history-rich towns, breathtaking views and world-class fashion and food.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Irish Cultural Center Phoenix, AZ
Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on March 17th. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),  the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutherans. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early 17th century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.

The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire especially shamrocks, and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on fasting and drinking, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat.

Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century.He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a  feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention.

The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organised the first observance of St. Patrick's Day in the Thirteen Colonies. The society's purpose in gathering was simply to honour its homeland, and although they continued to meet annually to coordinate charitable works for the Irish community in Boston, they did not meet on the 17th of March again until 1794.

New York's first Saint Patrick's Day observance was similar in nature to that of Boston's. It was held on 17 March 1762 in the home of John Marshall, and over the next few years informal gatherings by Irish immigrants were the norm. The first recorded parade in New York was by Irish soldiers in the British Army in 1766.  In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.

In every year since 1991, March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month by the US Congress or President due to the date of St. Patrick's Day.

Irish American statistics for Arizona: US Census Irish American population: 524,306, Percentage of total population: 10.2% Maricopa County: Irish 358,520

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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