Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile
Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is a cultural and
religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint
Patrick (c. AD 385—461), the most commonly recognised of the patron
saints of Ireland.
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Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the
early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the
Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern
Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick
and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrates the
heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally
involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green
attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services,
and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted
for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition
of alcohol consumption.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,
Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is
also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world;
especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia
and New Zealand.
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