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March 17 marks Saint Patrick’s Day (aka St. Patrick’s Day, St. Paddy’s Day, St. Patty’s Day), a cultural and religious holiday which celebrates the life of Saint Patrick, who died on that date way back in the fifth century. Patrick has endured as the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland, credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and continues to have religious significance. It has also gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture, where people line up for hours for the privilege of cramming into a pub to drink green beer or Guinness. I recall a childhood where vicious class mates threatened pinches if we didn’t wear green on that day. They weren’t even Irish. Continue reading »