Saint Patrick's Day
In the United States and in Great Britain , the Irish communities celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day which is on 17 March.
The Irish community in the US is very big. During the 1800’s thousands of Irish immigrants went to America to escape poverty and have a better life. They settled in all parts of the country and took their traditions with them.
Who is Saint Patrick and why is he important to the Irish ?
Saint Patrick is the patron of Ireland. He left several writings about his life and work in Ireland.
Saint Patrick whose father was a landowner and a Christian was born in Britain in 389 AD. When he was sixteen years old he was captured and taken to Ireland WHERE he became a slave. After six years he escaped to France wherehe became a priest. (un prêtre)
In 432 AD he returned to Ireland as a bishop in order to convert most of the Irish to Christianity. He was a generous man and dedicated man who also introduced the Roman alphabet to Ireland.
There are legends about Saint Patrick. One legend says that he banished all the snakes from Ireland,which is probably not true ! Another legend says that he used a shamrock to teach the Irish about the Trinity. Today the shamrock he used is still a symbol of Ireland and the Irish
Saint Patrick died in 461 on March 17th and his tomb which is at Downpatrick is a centre of pilgrimage.
Today on March 17th there are big parades in big American cities in honour of the Irish . Marching bands dressed in green play lively Irish music. The Irish community organises parades and other colourful events
American and British people wear green clothing on Saint Patrick’s Day. The Chicago River is even dyed in green
Most people wear a green shamrock. Many shops and restaurants are decorated with green shamrocks in honour of the Irish.
Not to forget the Leprechaun who is a solitary creature, whose principal occupation is making and mending shoes, and who enjoys practical jokes.He is said to possess a treasure and if you capture him and theaten( menacer) him , he can tell you where he has hidden it...