Happy St Patrick’s Day!
March 17 marks the death of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Normally Irish people around the world would celebrate their culture with parades, food, music, drinking and dancing.
People usually wear their most green clothing and toast with a pint of Guinness in celebration.
However, this year the celebrations will be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In Dublin the famous Festival parade was cancelled, as well as smaller cultural events around the country.
Nevertheless, it is still worth remembering why this day is special for millions of people around the globe.
Here is everything you need to know about the real Saint Patrick.
Who was Saint Patrick?
St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, but ironically he was not born in the country.
He was born in 387 AD south of Hadrian’s Wall in Britain, in modern day Scotland.
As a teenager he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland.
He was put to work as a shepherd and worked in terrible conditions for six years.
Even though he was a slave, he grew to love the spirit of the Irish.
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During his time as a slave his religious faith strengthened him.
He eventually escaped home to Britain, but later returned to Ireland to be a missionary for the Catholic church.
St Patrick played an important role in converting the native Irish to Christianity.
He died on March 17 in the 5th century and the first celebration was a feast in honour of him.
He became a legendary figure by the end of the 7th century and there are several legends around him.
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For example, one story says he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea after they began attacking him.
One of the most common symbols of St Paddy’s Day is the shamrock, which is a three-leaf clover.
It was the religious symbol of the Holy Trinity, and is said to have been used by Patrick to explain the Trinity to pagans.
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