St Patrick’s Day – March 17th 2012
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the Saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. This day is celebrated all over the world, particularly by those of Irish descent, but mainly in Ireland and the USA. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years and it is a national holiday. The day falls during the Christian season of Lent, when 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.St Patrick’s Day – Fun Factfile:
- The first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place in the United States and today, the St Patrick’s Day parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the US, with over 150,000 participants.
- Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route in New York to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Many other US cities also celebrate the day with large parades each and in some they dye the river green.
- Music is often associated with St Patrick’s Day—and Irish culture in general. From the ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs. Music is produced with instruments that have been used for centuries.
- The leprechaun, a fairy figure, is often associated with Ireland and St Patrick’s Day. The character probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were moody souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY!