The initial committee, Tom Nolan, Patricia Ferns, J. Bradley, James O’Neill, Jim McCue, and Janice Sullivan, set out to come up with a celebration of the Irish culture that could be enjoyed and in which a plethora of people could participate. Therefore, this resulted in the birth of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
The initial festival first occurred in 2003. Regardless of the dire predictions of the astronomically low minority that was not for it, the holiday was a tremendous success for the 5000 participants who turned up to delight in the thrill offered from two stages located in the town.
In the subsequent years, a myriad of events became part of the program which shortly after, evolved into a week-long festivity. Thus, a cadre of events from these early days still exudes immense popularity and continues to feature. They run the gamut from the Annual Lecture, and the Irish Quiz Night, among others all of which have been quite successful and feature a multitude of renowned and reputable speakers such as Professor Sir Tom Devine, George Galloway, and Tim Pat, to mention a few.
Other visitors who were warmly welcomed to the celebration were the preceding Irish Ambassador to Britain, RTE radio presenter called Pascal, and Ireland’s former President.
New Name but Constant Values
In the year 2015, the Festival Committee members converted its name to the Coatbridge Irish Heritage Committee (CIHC) for the better reflection of a vast assortment of social alongside cultural initiatives which it provides to the Irish people located in Lanarkshire all year. From its humble beginnings, the Festival has indeed advanced to become a part of Scotland’s calendar. By 2009, it was part of the Top St. Patrick’s Day festivals in TripAdvisor.
The Family Street Festival is frequently delighted by as much as 20,000 people, not to mention luring in visitors from Germany, USA, Holland, England, Ireland, Sweden, and Spain.
St. Patrick’s Origin
It is believed that St. Patrick died in Saul, Downpatrick (located in Northern Ireland) on 17th March, 460 A.D, hence why it is celebrated on this date. The preservation of his jawbone was in a shrine and is perceived to protect from all evil. Additionally, there are beliefs that St. Patrick saw his last days in Glastonbury (England) where he was laid to rest. The St. Patrick’s Chapel is still in existence and forms part of the Glastonbury Abbey. Currently, a profusion of Catholic churches globally is named after St. Patrick.
Symbols and Traditions
St. Patrick’s Day is associated with the rich Irish culture, encompassing gold alongside green colours, luck, as well as shamrocks. Moreover, for those who commemorate its intended purpose, this Festival is a conventional day for praying for missionaries across the globe and spiritual renewal. Since the holiday commenced in Ireland, it is perceived that the Irish became scattered across the globe, taking their celebrations, alongside history with them. The greatest observance of all is undoubtedly in Ireland. Excluding pubs as well as restaurants, nearly all businesses close on the 17th of March. Given that it is also a spiritual holiday, plethoras of Irish attend church, during which 17th March is the conventional day to offer prayers for the global missionaries before the celebrations begin.
The most essential element of this Festival is that after the mass, the Parades begin. More than 350 St. Patrick’s Day festivities worldwide commemorate this famous occasion. Furthermore, the throbbing heart of these celebrations is represented by the Pipe Bands with their captivating music, not to mention powerful presence.