Saint Patrick’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a religious and cultural celebration in honor of Saint Patrick of Ireland who was one of the people who brought Christianity to the Irish people. The celebration is often held on or around March 17, the date widely believed to be Saint Patrick’s death date. The feast day was made an official day for Christian in the 17th century and marked around the world, especially by the Irish community. Although Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious celebration, it is also a day for the celebration of the cultural heritage of the Irish people. The day is marked by several activities including parades, music, special food, and drinking.
Celebration Date (s)
The St. Patrick’s Day was added to the Catholic Church calendar in the 1600s, effectively becoming a day when all the Roman Catholics in Ireland are expected to attend mass. Although Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated on March 17 in most countries, the day can be moved forward or backward to accommodate certain Christian activities. The celebration of the day is often affected by certain solemnities, leading to the day being moved to a time that does not coincide with this period. One of the periods that will affect the feast day is the Holy Week. If March 17 falls within Holy Week, the celebration will be postponed to a later date. For instance, in 1940 Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated on April 3 because March 17 coincided with Palm Sunday. It was held on March 15 in 2008.
Apart from March 17, the feast can be also be held on a weekend near the date. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official holiday in Ireland in 1903. In 2020, the feast day will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 17 in most countries except Canada which will observe the day on Monday, March 16 in some parts and Tuesday, March 17 in other parts. In 2021, Saint Patrick’s Day will again be celebrated on March 17 in most parts of the world. Canada will celebrate the feast day on March 15 and March 17.
Saint Patrick’s Day Tradition
Saint Patrick’s Day is known for all things Irish including music, food, shamrock, and parades throughout Ireland and other parts of the world. From color green to leprechauns and the snake, a lot of things happen on this day. Many people wear green clothing on this day. Music is an important component of the Irish culture and features prominently on the feast day. On this day, families share the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.
Apart from feasting and merrymaking, some people take a pilgrimage to Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, which, according to many people who have been there, is a source of spiritual healing. It is located on Station Island where it is believed that Saint Patrick had a vision in which sinners were guaranteed pardon if they went there with penitence and faith. Saint Patrick’s Day is also a day to remember when the good saint “banished snakes” from Ireland (not actual snakes but pagans).
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