Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day (17 March)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone! On the 17th of March, people all over the world celebrate Irish culture and heritage in commemoration of Ireland’s patron saint.

Who was Saint Patrick? The patron saint of Ireland lived in the fifth century. No one knows when exactly he was born, but he is believed to have died on the 17th of March. As a teenager he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. During that time he learned a lot about Irish traditions and beliefs. After six years, he managed to escape. He fled from the island and finally found shelter in Gaul (France), where he stayed and studied for 12 years. Having become a bishop, he decided to go back to Ireland as a missionary. As he knew the Irish and what was important to them, Patrick managed to convert many Irish pagans to Chirstianity. This is for example how the Celtic cross came into existence – Patrick simply added a circle to the Christian cross, symbolizing the sun. Even more famous is how Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Trinity of father, son and holy ghost to Irish pagans. The shamrock is therefore a symbol you'll find everywhere on Saint Patrick’s Day.

What happens on Saint Patrick’s Day? The 17th of March is a public holiday in Ireland, but it is celebrated all over the world by Irish people and lovers of Ireland. There are parades in the streets, there is music and dancing everywhere, especially in Irish pubs. People usually wear something green on that day, they dance, sing, have fun … and drink, especially Irish stout and whiskey. Many pubs sell green beer and in Chicago the river is dyed green in celebration. So check out if there is an event near you and enjoy the craic= Have fun!, Have a great time! as the Irish say.

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Questions on the text

Read the text carefully and answer the following questions.

  1. Saint Patrick was born on the 17th of March.
  2. He first came to Ireland as a slave.
  3. Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday all over the world.

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