St. Patrick’s Day – a worldwide celebration of all things Irish. People from Dublin, to New York, Sydney to Beijing take the day off work (in Ireland it’s a complete holiday) and celebrate all the great things about being Irish.
Everyone dons green and gold and wears a shamrock on some part of their body to symbolize their Irishness.
Religious people go to mass on St. Patrick’s Day to pray to God and thank him for their patron saint. It is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
Aside from the huge celebrations that take place in Ireland each year, the rest of the world does their part to celebrate the Irish day.
U.S. cities with large Irish populations, such as New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago, go big with their celebrations.
They host huge parades (NY being the largest in the world), color things green (Chicago dyes the river green) eat corned beef and cabbage and drink Guinness.
Traditional Irish music and dance can be found on every street corner or in every Irish bar and plenty of activities are made available for children.
The feast day was penciled into the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church in the early 17th century thanks to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding.
When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday the obligation to abstain from eating meat does not have to be adhered to.
When March 17 falls during Holy Week, the actual celebration date can be moved. In 1940 St. Patrick's Day was observed on April 3 in order to avoid clashing with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, when it was observed on 15 March.
St. Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160 – when it will fall on the Monday before Easter
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned