17th March is the feast day of St Patrick, who is also known as the patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick was originally named "Maewyn Succat" but changed his name to Patrick when he became a priest as the name derives from the Latin term for "father figure". Patrick was born in the late 4th century in Roman Britain and at 16 was kidnapped by Irish Raiders in his family estate and taken to Ireland as a slave. Patrick managed to escape and return home but in the year 432 he decided to return to Ireland to convert the people to Christianity. During his time in Ireland Patrick built schools, monasteries and even churches.
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Patrick's contributions to Ireland led to a number of extravagant rumours/legends being created about him. One legend explains how Patrick was able to banish all of the snakes in Ireland. Nowadays however it is understood that the snakes were just a metaphor for the druids Patrick was able to chase out of Ireland using the power of Christianity. Patrick was also key in how the shamrock became such an important symbol to the Irish people, explaining how the three-leafed plant, can be used to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. All these contributions have led to Patrick's legend status and the Irish people now celebrate him with feasts and religious services.
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Today St. Patrick's day is know for excessive drinking and celebrating everything Irish. This is in part due to Irish immigrants in the United States of America. Some states that had a larger number of Irish immigrants often had more political power and held the biggest celebrations often with massive parades. Boston's first St Partick's day was in 1737 followed by New York's first celebration in 1762. Chicago has coloured its river green since 1962 even though blue was the colour originally used to associate St Patrick. The wearing of green has become iconic with St Patrick's Day due to the colour of the Shamrock and on the day people will dress in green outfits whilst drinking green coloured beer. Some of these practises have been adopted by Ireland mainly to attract tourists to Ireland during the celebrations. It has become so big that most supermarkets have themed food and drink items just like at Christmas and Easter.
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Why not browse our online shop for a festive heritage of Ireland kilt or even scarves to celebrate this Sunday? - www.thescotlandkiltcompany.co.uk