Patriots’ Day is an annual holiday observed on the third Monday of April. It commemorates the Battle of Lexington and the Battle of Concord which took place on April 19, 1775, and were the first battles fought in the American Revolutionary War.
This day is not to be confused with Patriot Day, which happens on September 11 and remembers the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.
Patriots’ Day is a public holiday in the states of Maine and Massachusetts, where people have the day off and schools and businesses are closed for the day. Even though other states in America observe this day, it is not a federal holiday.
Before the War for Independence, the colonies in the area around Boston were heavily controlled by British Rule. The people were unhappy with this, and as a response residents in those colonies took arms and went to battle against the British. So, on April 19, 1775, the fight for independence officially began, and the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired in the battles of Lexington and Concord. These battles were arguably the first steps towards the creation of The United States of America.
One key figure associated with Patriots’ Day is Paul Revere, a silversmith, who warned New York and Philadelphia about the Boston Tea party and rode to Lexington in the night to alert the continental army of the approaching British army.
Origins of the holiday
In 1864 the Lexington Historical Society called for April 19 to be known as “Lexington Day”. However, not thinking this was fair, the people in Concord thought it should be named “Concord Day”. They eventually compromised and called it Patriots’ Day.
The Governor of Massachusetts at that time, Frederic T. Greenhalge, took inspiration from this and renamed Fast Day as Patriots' Day. He thought it important to have a date that honored the bravery of the people who fought for independence, and following this, in 1907, the state of Maine also changed its Fast Day to Patriots’ Day.
Originally celebrated on the anniversary of the battles, April 19, the holiday was moved in 1969 to the third Monday in April to give workers a three-day weekend.
How the holiday is celebrated
There are many events that take place throughout the whole month to celebrate patriots' day, as well as over Patriot's day weekend. This includes reenactments of the battle, parades and demonstrations of weapons and equipment, and a reenactment of Paul Revere's night ride which replicates the journey he made all those years ago.
The Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, it has been taking place on Patriots’ Day since 1897 and is one of the most well-known celebrations of the day with thousands of spectators flocking to Boston to watch it, or following it on TV.
A movie by the name “Patriots’ Day” was released in 2016, and it depicts the tragic events that unfolded in 2013 when terrorists planted a bomb during the Boston Marathon.