SAINT PATRICK’S DAY, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (IrishLá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461 )

Origin of Saint Patrick of Ireland
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland

One of the most celebrated holidays around the world, Saint Patrick’s Day (or the Feast of Saint Patrick), honors the heritage and culture of the Irish with stunning displays of fireworks, parades, special foods, music, dancing and drinking. Historically, March 17 commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland who was known for bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck! But the history of Saint Patrick’s Day has less to do with clovers and more to do with the introduction of Christianity.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). Saint Patrick is one of the most renowned Saints around the world. Not only are some 7 million people named after him, but many establishments, institutions and churches also bear his name, one of the most famous being Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Story has it that Saint Patrick was born in Britain around 385 AD. His parents, Calpurnius and Conchessa, were Roman citizens living in either Scotland or Wales. As a young teenager, he was captured by Irish raiders and sold to a Celtic priest in Northern Ireland. After six years herding sheep, luck was on his side and Patrick managed to escape back to Britain. Later, in his 30s, he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary among the Celtic pagans.

Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

Shamrock, Seamóg or Seamair Óg, the Irish for a young clover can be found growing wild throughout Ireland. It is worn on the feast day of St. Patrick, 17th March, to represent a link with Saint Patrick, the Bishop who spread the Christian message in Ireland. The tradition of wearing Shamrock on Saint Patrick’s Day can be traced back to the early 1700’s.



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