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The meaning behind St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 every year. Photo: Getty
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St Patrick’s Day falls on the same day every year: March 17.

It is a day where people wear green, drink beer, wear crazy hats and head to the nearest Irish pub.

What is St Patrick’s Day?

It is a cultural and religious celebration observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church.

What is the meaning behind St Patrick’s Day?

The day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain and was kidnapped into slavery and bought to Ireland. He escaped to a monastery in France and converted to Christianity. Later, Patrick became a bishop.

On March 17, 461 he died and was buried at Downpatrick. After death, he was named Ireland’s patron saint.

Why do we celebrate it in Australia?

In Australia, the Irish were among the first Europeans to settle in the country.

More than 300,000 other Irish settlers migrated to Australia between 1840 and 1914. Many left Ireland to escape the famine in their country.

Now, around 30 per cent of Australian’s are believed to have some Irish ancestry.

Is St Patrick’s Day a public holiday in Australia?

No, but many bars and restaurants are busy on this day.

 When was the first St Patrick’s Day parade?

The first parade was held in the 18th century by Irish soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.

When the Irish emigrated to the US, it become a celebration for the Irish to connect to their roots after they moved overseas.

Why do people wear green on St Patrick’s Day?

Green is worn on St Patrick’s Day as it is one of the colours in Ireland’s trio-coloured flag.

It is also said that Patrick used the shamrock, a three leaf clover, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

Leprechauns and pots of gold are also symbols of St Patrick’s Day.

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