St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 each year. The holiday honors Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick, who lived in the 5th century, is credited with bringing Christianity to the country of Ireland.
Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat around 385 A.D. Succat was born in Britain to parents who were citizens of Rome. The boy was kidnapped by pirates as a teenager and spent several years as an enslaved person in Ireland.
After about six years in captivity, Maewyn escaped and returned to Britain, where he later became a priest. He took the name Patrick when he was ordained.
Patrick returned to Ireland to share his faith with the people there. The shamrock, or three-leaf clover, is associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is said that the priest used the shamrock to explain the idea of the Holy Trinity.
Leprechauns and the color green are also associated with the holiday. Unlike the shamrock, they have nothing to do with Saint Patrick but are recognized as symbols of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday for the Catholic Church and a national holiday in Ireland. However, it is also celebrated by people of Irish descent around the world. In fact, many people who aren’t Irish enjoy joining in on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Common ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s day include the “wearing o’ the green” to avoid being pinched and eating foods associated with Ireland, such as soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and potatoes. People may also dye their hair, foods, and drinks green for St. Patrick’s Day. Even the Chicago River is dyed green each St. Patrick’s Day!
By Beverly Hernandez for Thought Co.©
Source: St. Patrick’s Day Wordsearch Printables (thoughtco.com)