Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early 17th century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general.
The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire (especially shamrocks), and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, New foundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as the Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.
The first St Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. With a little over four months in which to effect change, the main object was to demonstrate that changes were afoot and starting the process away from “just a parade”. The live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.
In 1997, we dropped the word “Day” from our title and it became “St. Patrick’s Festival”, a three day event. The festival has since grown to become a four day festival and in 2001 is was enjoyed by 1.2million people.
Preparation for the first St Patrick’s Festival used to take only 5 months, but with the growth of the Festival, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.