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Photo credit: William Murphy

Ireland as a country is known for its rich cultural heritage and one of such culminates in the Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration, or the Feast of Saint Patrick as it is also known. History has it that Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British who doubled as a Bishop and Christian missionary in Ireland.

It is believed that Patrick was kidnapped at the age of sixteen by Irish raiders and was taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland where he spent six years working as a shepherd and it was during this time he found God. It is believed that according to a certain declaration, The Declaration, God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. Upon making his way home, Patrick became a priest.

Patrick however returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. According to the The Declaration Patrick spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and succeeded in converting “thousands”. It is believed also that his efforts against the druids eventually turned into a symbolic representation in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland and this was how snakes were never found in Ireland.

History holds that Patrick died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick and the date “17th March” became the day of the Festival of Patrick. As the years rolled by many legends emulated the late Patrick and this was how he came to be known as Ireland’s foremost saint.

It should be known, however, that saint Patricks day was made an official Christian feast and is celebrated and observed by the Anglican Communion, the catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church etc’

Saint Patrick’s Day is observed as a public in the Ireland, Northern Ireland and some Canadian provinces as well as celebrated Irish Diaspora in countries like New Zealand, Australia, and United States

Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, the wearing of green attire of shamrock. Christians also attend Church services and the Lenten restrictions on drinking of alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

The wearing of green is symbolic with Saint Patrick’s Day as it is believed to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

Endeavour to make it a date as the Irish and the international community looks forward to another Saint Patrick Day celebration come 17th March 2017.