Saint Patrick was a 5th Century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland, who over the years became seen as the “Apostle of Ireland”.
At the young age of 16 he was kidnapped from Great Britain and taken to Ireland as a slave, it is here where he says his spiritual development really began. Years later he escaped and returned back home. Back in Great Britain he continued studying his faith, made easier by the fact his father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest. Later in life he decided to return to Ireland after becoming a cleric, where he served as an ordained bishop. By the 17th Century he was known as the patron saint of Ireland. History credits St. Patrick for the use of the shamrock to demonstrate and teach the Holy Trinity, which is why shamrocks play a key symbol in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Every year on 17th March many people all around the world but predominantly the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The day is also invariably known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, Patrick’s Day, Paddy’s Day and St. Paddy’s Day.
Celebrations generally include people wearing green, spraying their green and occasionally dressing up as a leprechaun. Irish flags, Irish dancing and Irish food all play a huge part in the days celebrations, with many attending parades to celebrate in large groups together. Last but not least, you can always rely on St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated down the pub!
Around the World
But how are they going to be celebrating the big day around the world?
Wel… the Empire State building New York will be going green for Paddy’s day celebrations. This is a part of their legendary St. Patrick’s day parade, as well as lots of green beer on tap!
Chicago will be honouring their tradition of dyeing the Chicago river green! If you’re in the state and looking for the best viewing spots, try the east side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive Bridge, and Upper and Lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. There’ll also be the annual parade, fun run and theatre performances.
Buenos Aires, South America is a city which actually boasts the 5th largest Irish community in the world. While a parade isn’t part of the celebrations, if you’re in Buenos Aires for March 17th you’ll find a 10-block area of the Retiro district turned into a giant street party featuring music, dancing and lots of craic.
The Caribbean island of Montserrat has two reasons to celebrate on March 17. Not only is the island home to a small population of Irish but the date also marks the emancipation of slavery on the Island. The week long festivities include the aptly-named Freedom Run, a St. Patrick’s Day mass, fishing competitions, guided hikes into the mountains, Calypso music!
Let us know what you’re up to for St Patrick’s Day by tweeting us @JohnMasonIntl!