St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in the whole of Ireland on 17 March, in honour of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Who was St. Patrick?
Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
He was born in Wales somewhere around AD 385.
He was carried off by Irish pirates and spent six years in slavery before escaping to France.
There he entered a Catholic monastery. In 432 AD he was sent as a Bishop back to Ireland to continue the missionary work already begun there. Despite the fact that the Druids were still very powerful there, Patrick, with the help of three other bishops, built more than 50 cathedrals and united the islanders in one faith.
Of the many legends about St Patrick which survive in Ireland, one in particular has been preserved in the Irish folklore. It is about how St Patrick rid “the Emerald Isle” of snakes. He died on 17th March in AD 461 and this day has since been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day.
What is the national emblem of Ireland?
The national emblem of Ireland is the Shamrock (a clover-like plant).
Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain how the Trinity of the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit could exist as separate parts of the same being. His followers took to wearing a shamrock in celebration.
Every Irishman should wear a shamrock in his button hole on St. Patrick Day. An important note: if you should find yourself in New York City or in Ireland on St Patrick Day, whatever you do,
do not wear orange, since it is associated with the struggle of Protestantism in Ireland.
Wearing orange to a St Patrick’s Day parade could be as suicidal as a matador wearing red
to a bull-fight.After the shamrock, the leprechaun is the second most popular symbol on
St Patrick Day.The leprechaun is an elf-like creature from Irish folklore. He is cunning,
ill-tempered and greedy.
You can never appease or make friends with a leprechaun, but if you are clever enough you may
trick him into taking you to his pot of gold well hidden at the end of the rainbow.