Celebrated annually on and around March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day is the death date of the well recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It was in the early seventeenth century that the day was made an official Christian feast day. The day is observed by the Anglican Communion, the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.
Saint Patrick’s Day celebrates the culture and heritage of the Irish in general. From public parades and ceilithe to film festival, food festival and comic events, the day brings masses together in a festive spirit. Attracting as many as 100,000 people to the city, Saint Patrick’s Day is indeed a big affair in London.
About Saint Patrick
A lot of what is known about St Patrick comes from the Declaration which he himself wrote. Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish invaders. Saint Patrick, taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland spent six years working as a shepherd. It is believed that it was during this time that he “found God”. After fleeing from there to his home, Patrick became a priest.
He is believed to have returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. As per the Declaration, he spent several years evangelizing and converted many. All these centuries, he became Ireland’s leading saint.
St Patrick’s Day Parade 2015
Marches representing 32 Irish counties make their way through London for the St Patrick’s Day Parade. Taking place on March 15, 2015 (the Sunday closest to March 17), the procession starts from Green Park which is close to Hyde Park corner via Trafalgar Square to end at Whitehall. This 1.5 mile passes some of London’s iconic landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus and The Ritz.
In Trafalgar Square, there’s an Irish food market, a film festival, children’s theatre and a lot more along with Irish music and dance. From 12 noon to 6 in the evening, this is a great chance to experience the profound and rich Irish culture.
Traditions and Celebrations
On this day, it is expected to wear shamrocks and green clothes. St Patrick is believed to have used the Shamrock which is a three-leaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.
Parties take place in numerous London pubs and bars. The green décor will surely catch your attention. Traditional Irish drinks and special menu are served everywhere. As this is a religious holiday as well, various Irish attend mass where the day is meant for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
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