St. Patrick’s Day: What’s It about?

MareLucci: Saturday news
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated today in honour of the patron saint of Ireland.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about St. Patrick:

  1. Patrick wasn’t Irish
  • born to wealthy parents in Britain
  • came to Ireland at 16, captured by Irish raiders and taken back to the country against his will
  • turned to religion during his six years in prison
  • finally escaped back to Britain, left Ireland  (voice of God)
  • had a second vision, returned to Ireland as a missionary
  • began spreading Christianity throughout Ireland
  1. Patrick died on March 17
  • people celebrate with parties and festivals
  • the day marks St. Patrick’s death (around 460 A.D.)
  1. Patrick has only two known writings
  • Confessio – a spiritual autobiography
  • Letter to Coroticus – speech against British mistreatment of Irish Christians
  1. Patrick didn’t drive snakes from Ireland
  • according to legend, St. Patrick chased all of Ireland’s snakes into the sea in the 5th century A.D.
  • in reality, the last Ice Age was too cold for snakes to survive
  1. Patrick used shamrocks to represent the Holy Trinity
  • 3 leafs of the plant represent the three aspects in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

How is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated?

  • people dress in green (Catholicism), orange (Protestanism), and white (peace)
  • Irish stews and Guinness (1.8 billion pints are sold each year)
  • the first St Patrick’s Day parade – in the US in 1761, thanks to Irish soldiers in the British army
  • in London, this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March 18, from Piccadilly to Whitehall
  • the 2018 parade will celebrate Irish women as part of the Mayor’s #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign (food, film, music)
  • the annual shamrock ceremony (in 2017, Donald Trump was presented with a bowl of Ireland’s famous greens by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny)
  • in Chicago, thousands of people go to see the river being turned green (tradition)
  • other countries turn buildings green for the day (the London Eye and HMS Belfast in London, Trinity College in Dublin, the Pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro)

As the famous Irish toast says:

May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out!


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