It is a holiday celebrated internationally on 17th March .
It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461),
the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.
It originated as a Catholic holiday but is now celebrated by Protestants also.
It became an official feast day in the early 17th century.
Over time, Saint Patrick's Day has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture.
2. WHO WAS SAINT PATRICK? Saint Patrick is traditionally thought to have lived "between 432-461 A.D.” At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped from his native land of the Roman British Isles by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years of slavery he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain. While back in his homeland, Patrick decided to become a priest and then decided to return to Ireland after dreaming that the voices of the Irish people were calling him to convert them to Christianity. After studying and preparing for several years, Patrick traveled back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Although there were already some Christians living in Ireland, St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity by converting people of power. Patrick's mission in Ireland is said to have lasted for thirty years. It is believe he died in the 5th century on March 17, which is the day St. Patrick's Day is commemorated each year.
3. What are the most famous symbols associated with St. Patrick's Day and Ireland? Shamrock Leprechauns Green
The shamrock as symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day is:
Partly due to the natural abundance of clover plants in the country,
but largely due to its strong association with Christianity .
According to the legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to visually illustrate the concept of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) when trying to convert polytheistic pagans to Christianity.
A leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, in a green coat,no taller than a small child with a beard and a hat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. The Leprechauns spend all their time busily making shoes, and store away all their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow . If ever captured by a human, the Leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their release.
Probably because you'll be pinched if you don't! School children started this tradition. Green is also the color of spring , the shamrock , and is connected with hope and nature. Historically, green has been a color used in the flags of several revolutionary groups in Ireland and as a result it appears in the official tri-color country flag, adopted in 1919. In addition to that, Ireland is often called the "Emerald Isle" due to the natural greenery found on the island. Says Prof. Mahony, "One of the things that strikes people all the time is how Ireland is incredibly green--it's very far north, but it doesn't get frozen. So why do we all wear green ?
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