How and why is Paddy’s Day celebrated around the world?

Today (March 17th) millions of people around the world will celebrate all things Irish.

Held in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday synonymous with celebration, good food and merry Guinness sipping.

As people around the world immerse themselves in yet another unforgettable celebration, you may be wondering about the significance of this special occasion.

Here’s everything we know about St. Patrick’s Day, including its history and the traditional way of celebrating it.

When is St. Patrick’s Day 2023?

St. Patrick’s Day always takes place on March 17, which falls on a Friday this year.

It is not a bank holiday in the UK or a federal holiday in the US, but it is a public holiday in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Why is St Patrick’s Day celebrated in Ireland and around the world?

Also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, St. Patrick’s Day marks the date of death of Ireland’s patron saint.

The celebration traditionally commemorates St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland.

It is observed by religious branches such as the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. It became an official Christian holiday in the early 17th century before becoming an official Irish holiday in 1903.

St. Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and priest.

He is believed to have been born in AD 387 in Roman Britain at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, Scotland. He was then kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland at the age of 16.

On St. Patrick's Day, communities come together to make memories and enjoy the madness (Brian Lawless/PA)

On St. Patrick’s Day, communities come together to make memories and enjoy the madness (Brian Lawless/PA)

St. Patrick claimed during his time in Ireland to have found God telling him that a ship would be waiting to take him home on the coast.

Patrick studied to be a priest after returning home before returning to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.

He died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17, 461, after which he became a legendary figure and Ireland’s most important saint.

What traditions are there on St. Patrick’s Day?

Consuming food and drink has always been a big part of the day. Fasting restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol have historically been lifted to allow revelers to enjoy the festivities wholeheartedly.

Today, celebrations often include traditional Irish foods like soda bread, as well as signature Irish drinks like whiskey and Guinness.

“Drowning the shamrock” is an age-old custom on St. Patrick’s Day. This involves placing a shamrock on the bottom of the cup before filling it and ending the drink as a toast to either those in attendance, Ireland, or St. Patrick himself.

It is said that St. Patrick used shamrocks as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. As such, they are now a classic symbol not only of St Patrick’s Day, but of Irish heritage in general.

Green clothing associated with Irish history and nationalism and wearable shamrocks are synonymous with St Patrick’s Day. Communal celebrations take the form of public parades and festivals and Cèilidhean sessions of traditional Irish music.

Since 2010, famous landmarks around the world have also been illuminated green in honor of the day. The Sydney Opera House and Auckland Sky Tower were the first to participate, and the trend has now expanded to include more than 300 landmarks in 50 countries.

What St Patrick’s Day events are happening in London this year?

As every year, on Sunday 12 March, the St Patrick’s Day parade and festival took place in Trafalgar Square.

However, if you missed it, don’t worry because there are many other celebrations taking place in the capital this week.

The London Chamber Orchestra will perform a special Irish music concert at Searcy’s at 116 Pall Mall, coupled with a themed menu.

And Boxpark Wembley offers guests live music, games, food and plenty of whiskey to mark the occasion.

If you are after a night out with your friends and family at the pub, why not visit one of the many Irish pubs in London?

Or if you’re a workout lover, you can take part in the St. Patrick’s Day Run on March 18th. The 5km circuit around Hyde Park is followed by a get-together in an Irish-themed bar.


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