So what is it and who was St. Patrick?  Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.   Many people ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ According to folklore the reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large


population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90’s, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.

While many Catholics still quietly celebrate this day of religious observance by going to mass, St. Patrick’s Day has slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland’s folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, ethnic cuisine, and wearing green). Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada.  New York City hosts the largest St. Patrick’s Day in the world with around 150,000 marchers.  In Chicago they turn the river green and other cities and towns all over America celebrate the day.  You’ll find many restaurants serving traditional Irish cuisine next week with corned beef and cabbage being the most popular,

You can find some fun games and activities including coloring pages, word puzzles and recipes for  children here:

Learn more about the celebration in other countries.