ST. PATRICK'S DAY
About St. Patrick
What do people do and public life
St Patrick's Day (Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is Ireland's national holiday. People hold parades and festivals to celebrate Irish culture on the day.
People throughout Ireland hold parades and festivals that celebrate Irish culture. The largest parade is in Dublin. Many towns and villages also have their own parade. Local musicians often perform during the parades. Week long festivals of Irish visual and performing arts and music are held in many regions. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly.
The main attraction of the St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
· The St. Patrick Day parade is an import from the USA, where St. Patrick’s Day parades have been held since 1947.
· Since the 1960s, Ireland too has known parades.
· From mid-morning on March 17th, across the country, the familiar drumbeats begin in towns in villages across the country, from Skibbereen to Sligo, from Clane to Kiltimagh.
· Somewhere between 50 and 100 parades are held before the day ends.
· The largest parade in the country is held in Dublin, where around half a million people line the streets.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Irish people like to wear green
Younger people like to make a splash, using face paints to create shamrocks, and wave inflatable green hammers, usually purchased at one of the countries many Eurogeneral shops (think dollar stores), at passing parade floats.
More mature citizens prefer the old-fashioned but still classy method of pinning some fresh shamrock to a lapel.
After the parade, many Irish people return to their families, while many people, especially younger people, take to the pubs.
Banks, post offices and many other businesses and organizations are closed in Ireland on St Patrick's Day. However, stores and pubs are generally open, although they may open later and close earlier than usual. Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. There may be some local disruption to traffic because of the parades and large scale celebrations, particularly in Dublin. If March 17 falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is on Monday, March 18.
St. Patrick's Life
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was a Christian missionary given credited with converting Ireland to Christianity in the AD 400s. So many legends surround his life that the truth is not easily found.
St Patrick was not actually Irish. His exact birthplace and date is not known. However it is believed he was born around 375AD in Scotland. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies.
His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat and he took on the name Patrick upon becoming a priest.
As a teen he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland to herd and tend sheep on Slemish mountain, Co Antrim.
During his six-year captivity, he became fluent in the Irish language, he turned to God in prayer. He escaped after having a dream sent from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast where he would find a ship waiting to sail to Britain.
He is believed to have met up with his parents in Wales before travelling to France where he became a priest and later a bishop.
Patrick was sent another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him to come and walk among them once more.
He was set the task of teaching Christianity to the Irish. He travelled throughout Ireland, preaching the Gospel and converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country.
Patrick preached and converted all over Ireland for 40 years. The date cited for when Ireland was converted to Christianity is 432.
There is much debate over when and where he died. It is believed he died on 17 March, 460 at Saul, Downpatrick. That is why Saint Patrick's day is celebrated on March 17th. Some people suggest he was also born on 17 March.
The clans of Ireland began to bicker over who should receive the honour of having his final resting-place on their land. To avoid this sacrilegious end to his life his friends secreted away his body to bury in a secret grave. Many believe this to be in Downpatrick, County Down, where there is a permanent memorial.
St Patrick's Day in Australia
Many Australians come together on St Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish culture and remember St Patrick’s life and achievements. Some businesses and organizations hold St Patrick’s Day breakfasts and lunches where lucky door prizes are given and Irish food and drinks are served. Many pubs, particularly Irish pubs, hold St Patrick’s Day parties in the evenings, where local bands play Irish music and green drinks are served.
St Patrick Day parades are held in cities such as Sydney and Brisbane. These parades feature people clad in traditional Irish costumes or dressed in green, as well and floats displaying the Irish flag. Some people dress as leprechauns while others wear green wigs. Many Irish associations and historical societies hold events that give people the chance to learn about the history of Irish immigration and settlement in Australia.
St. Patrick's Day in Canada
In some cities, notably Toronto and Montreal, large scale St Patrick's Day parades are held, often on the Sunday closest to March 17. The parade in Montreal has been held every year since 1824. However, the first recorded celebration of St Patrick's Day was in 1759 by Irish soldiers serving with the British army following their conquest of part of New France, a French colony in North America. In some places there are Irish cultural events. For instance, the Irish Association of Manitoba organizes a three-day festival of Irish culture in the week of St Patrick's Day.
People who have an Irish background or enjoy Irish culture may hold Irish themed parties and serve traditional dishes, such as Colcannon or Irish stew. Colcannon is a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage and Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb and root vegetables. Traditional Irish drinks include stout, a dark beer, and whiskey. Other parties may be themed around the color green. Guests may be expected to wear green clothes and only green food and drink is served.
St Patrick's Day in United Kingdom
March 17 is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland. The degree to which people celebrate St Patrick's Day varies according to their religious and political affiliations. Those, who believe that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom, do not generally celebrate the day. Those, who believe that Northern Ireland should become part of a United Ireland often celebrate St Patrick's Day. A large parade is held in Belfast but the level of public funding it receives depends on which political parties control the local council.
March 17 is just a normal day for many people in England, Scotland and Wales. They go to school or work as normal, and do not hold or attend any special events. Some may go for a drink in their local Irish pub at lunch time, after work or in the evening. However, in some towns and cities, particularly those with large Irish populations, parades and other large scale events are organized.
A weekend of celebrations is organized in Nottingham. These include a parade, children's workshops, an arts festival and performances by well-known Irish musicians. There is also a parade, attended by many thousands of people in Birmingham. An Irish festival lasting three days is held in Liverpool.
A whole week of celebrations is organized around St Patrick's Day in London. These include a parade and a festival held close to, but not always on, March 17. The parade visits Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden and the festival are held in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Together, the parade and festival allow people to experience many aspects of Irish culture including food, crafts, dance and music