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Public Life

Ireland was a little further behind — our first parade was held in Waterford in , while Dublin joined the club back in Today, the parade in Dublin is a huge, colourful, theatrical event that snakes through the historic city centre, with vivid displays and international bands.

Raise your glasses to Luke Wadding, an Irish Franciscan friar from Waterford whose persistent efforts turned March 17 into a feast day. If you visit the National Gallery of Ireland, you can see a painting of the friar by Carlo Maratta, while in Waterford city he is commemorated with a statue outside the French Church Greyfriars. The shortest parade in the world used to be in Dripsey, County Cork, from one pub to another.

Sadly, the parade is no more but you can still celebrate in the town with the annual Dripsey Vintage Tractor and Car Run. No, he wasn't born here. St Patrick was thought to have originally come from either Wales or Scotland, where he was abducted at the age of 16 and brought to Northern Ireland as a slave.

Once here, he was sent to Slemish Mountain in County Antrim to herd sheep. But on his escape, he had a vision and returned to Ireland to spread the word of Christianity.

This Day in History

It was on this island that he remained for the rest of his life, preaching, baptising and building churches until his death in in County Down. Not content with just donning green hats, everything from buildings to rivers goes green for St Patrick's Day a huge source of pride for the Irish here — and for all the Irish people across the world.


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In Dublin, buildings and bridges all over the city are illuminated green also. There are sites all over Ireland associated with St Patrick, which goes to show how far this 5th century saint travelled. Tradition has it that the reason there are no snakes in Ireland is down to our patron saint, who chased them into the sea.

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Drop into the wonderful Museum of Natural History on Dublin's Kildare Street, to find out more about our island's fauna in a lovely old Victorian building. But the wearing of green only became a tradition in the 19th century. Up until then, the colour most commonly associated with St Patrick was actually blue. Discover more about Ireland's fascinating history and explore the wonders of Ireland's Ancient East. One of Ireland's most spectacular medieval sights has intriguing links to St Patrick.

Every March 17 the whole world turns green to celebrate Ireland's beloved patron saint, Patrick.

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Excited your interest? There are airports throughout the Island with international arrivals. Discover airlines flying to Ireland from your location. Ever wonder why we eat corned beef, wear green, and pinch our friends on St. Read on to discover how three St.

Why Do We Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day?

According to some accounts, blue was the first color associated with St. Green is also the color of spring, the shamrock, and the Chicago River , which the Midwestern city has dyed green on St. Or so they think. In fact, only half of it is really Irish. Though cabbage has historically been a staple of the Irish diet along with potatoes , it was traditionally eaten with Irish bacon, not corned beef.

Irish immigrants in America could not afford the bacon, so they substituted it with corned beef, a cheaper alternative they picked up from Jewish immigrants.

A History of St Patrick's Day: Facts, Activities, Food, Festival, Traditions (2002)

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Ireland's Ancient East

On St. Patrick's Day, a look at how three well-known traditions came to be. Three women wore green as they marched in Tokyo's St.