As March the 17th approaches we prepare to celebrate one of the years liveliest holidays: St. Patrick's Day or or Lá Fhéile Pádraig as it's known here in Ireland. A day of fun and shenanigans, St. Patrick's Day is not just confined to our Emerald Isle, but has become a huge celebration across the globe.
The celebration marks the death of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was not Irish but Romano-British. Captured as a teenager by Irish pirates St. Patrick was sold into slavery. Here he spent six years working as a shepherd and it was during these years of solitude that he found faith in God. After escaping he continued to study Christianity. He was eventually ordained a cleric and had a vision of returning to Ireland. As the myth goes St. Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland into the sea. Many believe that this is a metaphor for driving away paganism and spreading Christianity.
The shamrock is associated with Saint Patrick as it was thought that he used it as a symbol to explain the holy trinity - the father, son and holy spirit as one God. The shamrock is still the symbol that marks the day the world over.
What was once a Christian celebration has now become a celebration of Irish culture where the beer flows aplenty and everyone wears a little green. A day when everyone wants to be Irish!
One of the first things that comes to mind when we think of St. Patrick's Day are the parades. From small villages in Ireland to New York City, people flock to watch the parade with a variety of song, dance and performance. Some of the world's most famous landmarks also turn a shade of green on the day including the "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney's Opera House and even the Chicago River.
Where ever you are in the world have a great St. Patrick's Day and don't forget to tune into our webcams on the day and see the celebrations live in Galway City.