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People all over the world celebrate on the 17th day of March in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Some cities have parades, most revelers wear green, and a few families commemorate the day with traditional Irish fare for their meal. However, not everyone may know who St. Patrick is.
Born in Britain during the 4th century, St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Although he was able to escape after six years and become a priest in Britain, he later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary, in order to help spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he also used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish. In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for thirty years while baptizing newly converted Christians and establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. He died on March 17th and was canonized by the local church.

St. Patrick's Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick's Day parade in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90's, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.

While many Catholics still quietly celebrate this day of religious observance by going to mass, St. Patrick's Day slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland's folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, ethnic cuisine, and wearing green).Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada, along with many cities across the United States.


Asked by Anonymous at 5:04 PM on Mar. 16, 2011 in Holidays

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Answers (6)
  • Only silly young backpackers get drunk on St Paddy's Day here. We had a great race meeting at the weekend. Fun for young and old.

    Answer by MLM247 at 7:18 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • I wear orange. The small part of me that is Irish is also Protestant.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 5:07 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • I am reading about this with my kids (we homeschool). St Pattys is looked at here in the US as a day to get drunk on green beer but t is soooo much more than that.

    Answer by txdaniella at 5:10 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Its a question section...looking for the question...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • And the question is...?

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:09 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • from irland Good biografy...

    Answer by GlitteribonMom at 8:47 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

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