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Its St Patrick’s Day tomorrow and before you reach for your green hat and a pint of Guinness, let us walk you through the background of the day and what you can expect from it here in London.
St Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17th March. It is a day that honours Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and is celebrated all over the world.
St Patrick was a real man who was born into a Romano-British family in around 385 AD. According to tradition, it is said that he was kidnapped by pirates when he was a boy and sent to Ireland where he was enslaved as a shepherd. Patrick spent many years as a slave in Ireland and it was during this time when he found God. Patrick eventually fled back to his home where he later became a Christian priest before returning to Ireland as a missionary in the fifth century. He spent the next 30 years converting the pagan Irish people to Christianity and built schools, churches and monasteries across the country. Patrick was later appointed as successor to St Palladius, the first bishop of Ireland. He is said to have died on 17th March in the year 461.
The wearing of green on St Patrick’s Day is an important part of the tradition and it is said that this signifies how Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity and convert the pagan Irish.
St Patrick’s Day parades are held in many cities all over the world and tend to draw thousands of people together. This year in London, the parade will be held on Sunday 19th March at 12pm and will see the procession make its way down Piccadilly on a 1.5 mile route passing some of London’s most iconic landmarks. There is also a St Patrick’s Day Festival happening in Trafalgar Square where you will be able to watch performances by West End stars, Irish acts and community choirs. You can get some traditional and modern Irish food at the market there and enjoy family activities for free.
Have a great St Patrick’s Day!
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