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Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

HISTORY
Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on 17 March, the death date of the most commonly-recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. 

TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS
Wearing of the Green
On St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories.  St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities. The triple spiral symbol appears at many ancient megalithic sites in Ireland.

The phrase "wearing of the green" comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's Day grew.


Happy St. Patrick's Day from our office to you!


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