St Patricks Day

St Patricks Day

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world, especially by Irish communities and organizations. Many people wear an item of green clothing on the day. Parties featuring Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food color are part of this celebration. It is a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can enjoy a “pint” of beer at a local pub. Many restaurants and pubs offer Irish food or drink, according to history.com

Some people plan a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, which is commonly associated with repentance and spiritual healing since the early 13th century. It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins, stated timeanddate.com

St Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He is said to have died on March 17 in or around the year 493. He grew up in Roman Britain, but was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was a young adult. After some years he returned to his family and entered the church, like his father and grandfather. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary and worked in the north and west of the country, stated history.com

According to popular legend, St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. However, it is thought that there have been no snakes in Ireland since the last ice age. The “snakes” that St Patrick banished from Ireland, may refer to the pagan worshipers of  serpent gods. He is said to be buried in Downpatrick, Ireland. Ireland’s other patron saints are St Brigid and St Columba.

Luke Wadding, a Franciscan scholar born in 1588 in Waterford, moved St Patrick’s Day to another date if March 17 falls during Holy Week.

Many immigrants from Ireland fled to other parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many Irish customs, including the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, became quite popular in these countries. However, much of the interest in the St Patrick’s Day events is largely commercially driven in the 21st century, stated www.gpb.org.