St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and as the whole world knows we celebrate his feast day on the 17th March. There are many stories and legends about St. Patrick but here are some facts about our National Saint.
- Patrick was born in Britain and as a boy of fourteen or so he was captured by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland .
- He worked for six years herding sheep and pigs on Slemish Mountain in County Antrim. during this time Patrick spent much of his time praying.
- After six years he escaped back to Britain but soon decided to travel to France to become a priest and later a bishop.
- In a dream he heard the Irish people calling him to come back so he returned to Ireland to teach the people about Christianity.
- He baptised thousands of people and he used the shamrock( a plant with three leaves on one stem) to explain to the Irish people the mystery of the Holy Trinity-Father, son and Holy Spirit in one God.
- The Shamrock is an emblem of hope and is worn by Irish people on St. Patrick’s Day.
There are a lot of different events to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year. The festival will last for five days from March 13th to 17th . There will be so much on offer – music, street theatre, family carnivals, comedy, street performances, dance, a treasure hunt, night spectacles …. culminating on Monday March 17th with the world famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
In Cashel Co. Tipperary, a big firework display called the skyfest is taking place. It lasts for two hours.
St. Patrick’s Day parade is a very entertaining event. Every year the main parade is held in Dublin. Marching bands from all over the world come over to participate in the parade.
There will be parades in Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Belfast, and many other towns around Ireland and abroad.