St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day


St. Patrick's Day is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. People from around the globe celebrate the holiday which tends to fall on March 17.

On St. Patrick's Day, which usually falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—often on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

It is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by non-Irish people. Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, consuming Irish drinks and attending parades.

So join in this St. Patrick's Day by raising a glass of your favorite beverage and relish being Irish -- even if its only for a day.



To celebrate St. Patrick and all things Irish.

St. Patrick's Personal Statement

Who is St. Patrick

Originally from Roman-Britain he was captured and taken to Ireland where he was sold into slavery at the age of sixteen, and became a herdsman. Here his thoughts turned to God and he spent much of his time in solitary prayer. During this period he had two dreams in which he heard voices directing him. The first told him that he would soon depart the place of slavery and the second told him that his ship was ready. After hearing this, he left his master and travelled across the country until he found a ship preparing to sail.

When he arrived back home he entered into the church. After a few years he heard another voice telling him to return to Ireland. According to legend, his first church was given to him, when he arrived in north-west Ireland, by Dichu, the local druid lord. Dichu opposed Patrick at first and attempted to attack him with a sword, but was miraculously paralyzed by the saint. As a result of this, Dichu sought baptism and became the first convert in Ireland. St. Patrick was one of the earliest Christian missionaries and helped bring Christian teachings to Ireland.

One of the most famous legends concerning St. Patrick credits him with banishing the snakes from Ireland. The legend tells of him standing upon a hill, named Croagh Patrick, and using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea.  One tale reports of an old serpent that resisted being banished, Patrick tricked it by making a box and inviting the snake to enter.  The snake insisted it was too small and the two began to argue.  Finally to prove his point, the snake entered the box to show how tight the fit was. Patrick slammed the lid closed and threw the box into the sea.

St. Patrick is reputed to be buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, alongside fellow Irish patron saints St. Brigid and St. Columba.

Work History

Work History


St. Patrick died in 461. Legend has it, that his body was put onto a cart led by oxen. It was said that wherever the oxen stopped, was where Patrick would be buried. the place they stopped became known as Downpatrick and St. Patrick is reputed to be buried here next to St. Brigid and St. Columba.


The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737.


The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756.


The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized what was the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on March 17th.


St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in Montreal, since 1759 where it was commemorated by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.


The first St. Patrick's Day parade occured this year in New York, when Irish soldiers in the British Army marched through the city playing music. It helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots as well as with the fellow Irishmen serving in the English Army.

In 1848 several Irish societies united together to form one large parade, which is now the New York St. Patrick's Day parade as we know it, the largest and oldest civillian parade involving as many as 150,000 participants and up to 2 million spectators lining the streets.


General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on March 17th “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence." This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.


Also known as the 'Emerald Island of the Carribean' due to the Irish descent of many of its early European Settlers. St. Patricks day is a public holiday in Montserrat and commemorates a failed slave uprising on March 17th 1798.


The St. Patrick's Day Parade started in Montreal this year and is now the longest running Canadian St. Patrick's parade.


Irish MP James O'Mara, introduced the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903 and St. Patrick's Day became an official Irish public holiday. O'Mara also introduced the law which required that pubs are closed on  March 17th, this was later repealed in the 1970's.


The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in the Irish Free State occurred in Dublin in this year.


Chicago started dying its river green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day this year. The tradition started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river—enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only forty pounds of dye are used, making the river green for only several hours.

This trend for dying waterways green has become increasingly more common with Savannah in dying the fountains in its parks green and the fountains in Trafalgar Square London being dyed green in 2008.


In the mid-1990s the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. The St. Patrick's Festival was established by the Irish Government in 1995.

"It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background."

The first Saint Patrick's Festival was held on March 17, 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long.


Ken Livingstone, the then Mayor of London, organized an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade which takes place on weekends around the 17th, usually in Trafalgar Square. In 2008, the water in the Trafalgar Square fountains was dyed green.


This year saw the first annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Glasgow





This year Dublin will hold the St. Patrick's Festival from March 12th - 17th.  The celebrations will include theatre, Ceili, exhibitions and talks, music and fun events for the whole family including a parade and a spectacular fireworks display. For more information check out


There will be a nine day program of events, this year from Monday March 9th to Tuesday March 17th culminating in a brilliant display of sound and color as the St. Patrick’s Cross-Community Carnival Parade makes its way through the streets of Downpatrick.

Events throughout the festival will offer opportunities to learn more about the history of St. Patrick, celebrate his life, explore the fabulous County Down countryside, and enjoy a range of concerts, exhibitions, sporting and family events. With almost 50 events to choose from, the St .Patrick’s Festival has something for everyone!

United States

New York

The parade starts at 44th Street at 11 am on March 17th. The parade marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street all the way up past the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street to 86th Street, where the parade finishes around 4:30 - 5:00 pm


Chicago River will begin to be dyed green at 10.45 on Saturday March 14th. The parade starts at 12 noon on March 14th at Balbo and Columbus. The parade will then proceed north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.


In honor of St. Patrick's dedication to Christianity, the day will start with the celebration of Mass at the beautiful Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The Parade will then begin at 10:15 am.


The parade will be start at 12.30 on Saturday, March 14th. The St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal and the Honorary Parade Grand Marshals lead Seattle's 38th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade up 4th Avenue. The Parade travels north from Jefferson, and after passing the reviewing stand at Westlake, goes via the Monorail to the Seattle Center for closing ceremonies in Center House at 2:00 PM

United Kingdom


On March 15th, London will show its green side with the St. Patrick's Day Festival held in Trafalgar Square. A free family day out to experience all things Irish - food, dance, crafts, culture and music. There will also be the St. Patrick's Day parade which will begin at 12 noon and will follow the route down Piccadilly on to Regent Street by Trafalgar Square and dispersing in Whitehall Place. For more information check out


Manchester will celebrate its fourteenth Irish festival with a two week extravaganza featuring two hundred events, staged at thirty two different venues throughout Greater Manchester. It is held from Friday, March 6th to Saturday March 21st. The festival will include the award winning 'Young, Gifted & Green' show at the Gorton Monastery, the annual St. Patrick’s festival parade, as well as the appearance of Irish stars such as Declan Nearney, Riverdance and Ed Byrne.


The St. Patrick's Day Festival in Birmingham will kick off on Friday, March 13th and will include a spectacular parade, live performaces and the fantastic Emerald Village at The Custard Factory: a dynamic family friendly area with a village fete atmosphere. There will be a rolling program of entertainment throughout the day for those of all ages, while there are a number of bars for the adults.



The parade will start at 12 noon at Fort and Ste Catherine Streets. The citizens of Montreal and visitors are invited to enjoy this celebration of St. Patrick, the Irish community and the welcoming of Spring. This giant replica of St. Patrick at the onset of the parade lets everyone know that the celebration has begun and the Grand Marshal who leads the three hour presentation of floats, bands, community and cultural groups follow him.


The Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon, on March 15th, with the procession starting from Bloor and St. George. The Parade will continue along Bloor Street down Yonge and finishes on Queen Street at Nathan Philips Square.

To check events and parades happening in your area take a wee peek at




Drinking has become an integral part of St. Patricks Day celebrations with Irish drinks being the beverage of choice. Popular examples include Murphy's Irish stout, Smithwicks ale, Harp lager, Irish Whiskey, Irish coffee and prehaps most famously Guinness and Baileys Irish Cream.

Displaying Shamrock

The Shamrock has become the national emblem of Ireland and features prominently in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, adorning clothes, flags .   Wearing a Shamrock, has been seen throughout Irish history, as a sign of Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule. Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock -- a 3-leaved clover -- using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God'.

Wearing of Green

There is an Irish street ballad called the 'Wearing of Green'  which refers to the wearing of a Shamrock to show loyalty to Ireland. Green has since become associated with being Irish, Ireland and St. Patrick and brings connotations of beautiful green Irish countryside.