Did you know? Shamrocks bring families the luck of the Irish on St.
Patrick's Day or any day.   BUT do you know that there is no such thing
as a shamrock plant? The word shamrock comes from the Irish word
seamrog, meaning little clover. In Ireland, the plant most often referred
to as shamrock is the white clover.
Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), also known as St.
Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates
Saint Patrick (circa 385–
461 AD), one of the patron saints of
Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

The day is the national holiday of
Ireland. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public
holiday in the
Republic of Ireland and Montserrat. In Canada, Great Britain, Australia, USA and
New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday.

It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-
born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of
obligation for Roman Catholics in
Ireland. The feast day usually falls during Lent; if it falls on a
Friday of Lent (unless it is Good Friday), the obligation to abstain from eating meat (usually
corned beef) can be lifted by the local bishop. The date of the feast is occasionally, yet
controversially, moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this
happened in 1940 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on April 3 in order to avoid it
coinciding with Palm Sunday, and happened again in 2008, having been observed on 15
March. March 17 will not fall during Holy Week again until 2160

ABOUT THE CELEBRATION

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by non-Irish people
(usually in Australia and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things
Irish and 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, drinking Irish drink
(such as Guinness or Baileys Irish Cream) and attending parades.

The St. Patrick's Day parade was first held in Boston in 1761, organised by the Charitable Irish
Society. The first recorded parade was New York City's celebration which began on 18 March
1762 when Irish soldiers in the English military marched through the city with their music. The New
York parade is the largest parade and can draw two million spectators and 150,000 marchers.
The predominantly French-speaking Canadian city of Montreal, in the province of Québec has
the longest continually running Saint Patrick's day parade in North America, since 1824; The city's
flag has the Irish emblem, the shamrock, in one of its corners. Ireland's cities all hold their own
parades and festivals, including Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and
Waterford. Parades also take place in other Irish towns and villages. The St. Patrick's Day
parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival.

As well as being a celebration of Irish culture, Saint Patrick's Day is a Christian festival
celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and some other denominations. The
day almost always falls in the season of Lent. Some bishops will grant an indult, or release, from
the Friday no-meat observance when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday; this is sometimes known
as a "corned-beef indult". When 17 March falls on a Sunday, church calendars (though rarely
secular ones) move Saint Patrick's Day to the following Monday—and when the 17th falls
during Holy Week (very rarely), the observance will be moved to the next available date or,
exceptionally, before holy week. The public holiday in
Ireland does not move and always
remains at 17 March, being fixed on the State calendar.

In many parts of North America, Britain, and Australia, expatriate Irish and ever-growing crowds
of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves "Irish for a day" also
celebrate St. Patrick's Day, usually with the consumption of traditionally Irish alcoholic
beverages (beer and stout, such as Murphy's, Beamish, Smithwicks, Harp, or Guinness; Irish
whiskey; Irish coffee; or Baileys Irish Cream) and by wearing green-coloured clothing.

WEARING OF GREEN

According to legend,
St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy
Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.

St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour
most widely associated with
Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern
times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning
to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign
of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith.
St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-
leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of
shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's
holiday. The change to Ireland's association with green rather than blue probably began
around the 1750s

Credit :
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