St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
If there is one thing we know is that the Irish are known for their love of beer and having a good time. So why not join them for what is sure to be a great party! St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th each year. It is the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other! St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.
History of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s day marks the accepted date in 493 CE of St. Patrick’s death. It was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. The day celebrates St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland) and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It also celebrates Irish culture and heritage. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, and of course wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.
St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated around the world; especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
What we know about St. Patrick
- Most sources agree that St. Patrick’s actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.
- Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.
- It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.
How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
- Wear green. Some popular t-shirts say “Kiss Me I’m Irish”.
- Dress like a leprechaun.
- Accessorize with buttons or anything Irish related.
- Learn some Irish words. Our favorite is “Eejit”. Eejit is the Irish word for idiot. If someone does something silly or stupid, you can comment “Ah ya big eejit!” It’s not meant to be offensive, rather it’s used to make fun of someone in a playful way.
- Learn to Irish Dance. You will be the hit of the party!
Where to celebrate
Places all over the world seem to find ways to celebrate the luck of the Irish.
Our first suggestion is to go to Ireland. There’s no better way to celebrate the quintessential Irish holiday than a trip to Ireland! Dublin, the capital city, usually holds a five day festival in honor of the holiday and is the location of Ireland’s largest and most impressive St. Patrick’s Day parade. The city buzzes with life over the course of the festival – thousands of tourists flood the city and the pubs are overflowing with travelers and locals alike, eager to “drown the shamrock”. So if you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion, this is the place to be!
Check out some major US cities. Chicago dyes its river Green. New York City and Boston have incredible parades as well as parties.
Malaysia. The St. Patrick’s Society of Selangor, which has been in existence since 1925, organises the annual St. Patrick’s Ball, the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebration in Asia. Guinness Anchor Berhad also organises 36 parties across the country.
Russia. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Russia in 1992. Since 1999, there is an annual international “Saint Patrick’s Day” festival in Moscow and other Russian cities. The Moscow parade has both official and unofficial parts. The first seems like a military parade and is performed in collaboration with the Moscow government and the Irish embassy in Moscow. The unofficial parade is performed by volunteers and seems more like a carnival and show with juggling, stilts, jolly-jumpers and Celtic music.
If you can’t head anywhere exotic, just head to an Irish pub. After a few pints, you will sure to have a few new friends.
Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!
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