17 Mar 2017
Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the first patron saint of Ireland.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century.
At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he “found God.” The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands.” Patrick’s efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland.
Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick.
The celebrations are mainly Irish culture themed. Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie. Many celebrations also hold an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes. Common traditions include:
- Parades and festivals
- Irish traditional music sessions (céilithe)
- Religious services
- Pea planting
In Ireland, this celebration is more religious in nature, as it is considered a religious feast day, but people all over the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially places with large Irish-American communities. Today’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations have been very influenced by those that developed among the Irish diaspora, especially in North America.
Saint Patrick’s Day. Wikipedia.