St. Patrick is so important to Ireland that the 17th of March is dedicated especially to him. St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s most important festivity, celebrates and recalls the history of the country. Get to know the history of the patron saint of Ireland!
It’s said that Mawyn Succat, his baptismal name, was born in Scotland or Wales, where he was captured and sold as a slave to Northern Ireland at the age of 16. After his arrival, he was sent to Slemish Mountain in County Antrim to look after sheep.
READ MORE: HOW DO IRISH PEOPLE CELEBRATE ST PATRICKS DAY
After his escape and his return home, it’s believed that he had a vision and returned to Ireland to spread the word of Christianity. It was in the country that he remained for the rest of his life, preaching, baptizing and building churches until his death.
The date of the feast has actually a connection with his death, that happened on the 17th of 461 in County Down. It was there that he established his first church in a small, simple barn, after arriving near the Slaney River. St. Patrick was buried in the grounds of Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, and a stone memorial marks his grave.
The St. Patrick’s Day symbol is a three-leaf clover, the “shamrock”. According to the legend, the saint used one of them to explain the Holy Trinity to the island dwellers.
The tradition also says that St. Patrick is the reason why there are no snakes in Ireland, as he has expelled them from the island. It’s a good story, but most scientists believe that snakes never existed in Ireland. But even so, because of this, some of his images portray him crushing the reptiles with his staff.
Many other traditions permeate St. Patrick’s Day, such as the use of green, orange and white clothes, which are the colours of Ireland. The shops, pubs, and sights are also decorated in green as the main colour.
However, the party doesn’t just involve pagan drinking and customs. It’s also a tradition to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to attend masses and thank for graces achieved.
St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is a very important celebration and it’s worth checking out this moment so important to the country!
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