What is Irish-American Heritage Month?
In the United States, March is considered Irish-American Heritage Month. This started in 1991, when the American Congress designated it as such. Since then, the President of the United States issues a yearly proclamation to commemorate the celebration and the contributions of Irish-Americans in our society.
Here are some interesting facts you can learn this Irish Heritage Month:
Irish Language Week, a festival that takes place March 1-17, is a movement to increase Irish bilingualism among the Irish and Irish diaspora.
There are ethnically more Irish people outside of Ireland than in the country itself, which has about a 5-6 million population. In the U.S. alone 30.4 million people claim to be of Irish ancestry.
Irish immigrants came to the U.S. in colonial times, but most significantly during the Potato Famine aka The Great Hunger, which killed 1-2 million people in Ireland. Irish who fled to the U.S. in the late 19th century would be around 4-5 million.
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was a traditionally religious holiday until 1995, when the Ireland a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world.