Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated to commemorate Saint Patrick, who was the best known of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day became an official feast day in the early 17th century and is probably the most widely celebrated saints day in the world today.
The religious character of Saint Patrick's Day is preserved by the church services held during the day, which are attended by many people. However, over the ages Saint Patrick's Day has also become a secular celebration of the Irish culture in general.
At Saint Patrick's Day many people wear green clothes or show shamrocks. The shamrock is a national symbol of Ireland.
It is a public holiday in Ireland and parts of Canada, and also widely celebrated in Great Britain, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.
| St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City |
Sat 16 Mar 2013