Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on 17 March in Northern Ireland and is also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick.
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Saint Patrick is the most well-known patron saint of Ireland. He lived in the 4th and 5th centuries and came from a rich Romano-British family living in England. At around sixteen years of age, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave.
After six years he escaped and returned to his home. Many years later, Patrick followed a call on his life to preach in Ireland and it is believed he died there on 17 March 461 although there are many variations on this as well as on his birthdate. It also is possible his name at birth was Maewyn Succat.
There are many legends about Saint Patrick, for examples, some say that he rid Ireland of snakes, that his ash wood walking stick became a living tree and that he spoke with long-dead ancestors of the Irish.
Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious day where many attend church services. Others, even across the globe, celebrate Irish culture with parades and parties. Green is the colour of the day although, originally, it was blue.
A symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day is the shamrock, a type of three-leafed clover. It is said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to demonstrate the Christian Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) to the people of Ireland.
Some of the more traditional foods eaten on Saint Patrick’s Day include soda bread, cabbage, corned beef, Irish stew, colcannon potatoes, green beer and pots-o-gold (a chocolate dessert).