St. Patrick’s Day, named for Ireland’s patron saint, is celebrated around the world on March 17 with parades and other festivities. The earliest parade was held in the 1760s in New York City by Irishmen serving there in the British military. During the 1800s, when Irish Catholic immigrants faced discrimination in Protestant-majority America, St. Paddy’s Day parades became an opportunity to show strength in numbers. Today, cities across the U.S. have longstanding traditions of St. Patrick’s Day parades, and the holiday is commemorated by people of many ethnic backgrounds. However, in Ireland, where St. Patrick’s Day has been a religious feast day since the 17th century and a public holiday since 1903, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that the government started sponsoring a large-scale, international festival and parade in Dublin, the capital city.