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St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland since the 9th or 10th century.  We have records of it being celebrated in the United States as early as 1601.  This is one of the most widespread celebrations that focus on one country’s traditions.  This holiday was originally established to remember St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, but it has since evolved more into a celebration of Irish traditions.

 

Ireland is one of the British Isles.  St. Patrick felt called to spread the Christian message to this country.  He established a strong presence of the church in Ireland and many legends and traditions in Ireland include Patrick.  Ireland is known for not having any snakes.  While there is no evidence that there ever were snakes in Ireland, the legend says that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Some people believe that this was not a reference to the slithering reptiles, but a hidden reference to corrupt people.  

 

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun celebration in which people celebrate the Irish culture.  The holiday is in the middle of the Lent period in which people give up certain indulgences.  On this day is a day that the Lenten restrictions are lifted.  Many people wear green which is the color that represents Ireland.  Shamrocks are a popular decoration as they have been an Irish symbol for many years.  In fact, it is a tradition that the Irish Prime Minister presents shamrocks to the United States President on or around St. Patrick’s day.  You might also see leprechaun decorations.  Leprechauns are characters from Irish legends.  Sometimes they like to play tricks, but they are known to have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  

 

Many cities hold parades for St. Patrick’s day.  Chicago even colors one of the rivers green for the celebration.  Irish music and dance are often seen during this time.  This is a time to celebrate Irish heritage.

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