Faster and smarter in the app... Download now

Saint Patrick's Day

Saturday 17th March will be a day of all things green and Irish as Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world. With parades and events taking place across Eire, England and the rest of the world, at Holiday Extras we take a look at the history and celebrations surrounding Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick

St. Patrick, believed to have driven all the snakes from Ireland during a hilltop sermon, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. Patrick was born in Wales in AD 385 and lived as a pagan until he was 16. At that age he was sold into slavery by Irish marauders and found God during his captivity. Patrick escaped after 6 years and studied Christianity in Gaul for 12 years. He believed his calling to be to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity.

Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted 30 years and was very successful, establishing monasteries, churches and schools across the country. He retired to County Down where he died on March 17th AD 461, a date that has been a religious celebration ever since.

Did you know...
St. Patrick's name was originally Maewyn, he adopted the name Patrick during his years in slavery.

Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated world wide by Irish people and, especially in Ireland and the US, by those of non-Irish decent. Celebrations revolve around all things green and Irish: eating Irish food; drinking Irish drink; wearing green and attending parades.

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin is part of a 5 day festival - over half a million people attended in 2006. Parades take place around the world and the largest is held in New York and observed by approximately 2 million spectators. The New York parade began life in 1766 when Irish soldiers marched through the city, the first parade having taken place in Boston in 1737.

Did you know...
It is a common practice for farmers to plant a solitary potato on St. Patrick's day to ensure a good harvest for the coming year.

This years events

Parades will be taking place around the world this year. In Chicago the Chicago River will, as has been tradition for more than 40 years, be dyed green. In New York City the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade will be seen by millions. In Dublin the 5 day St. Patrick's Festival will be taking place from Thursday 15th to Monday 19th March. With family carnivals, street theatre, music, comedy, street performances, dances and a treasure hunt.

Did you know...
The first Saint Patrick's day festival was held in 1996, it became a 3 day event in 1997. It now lasts 5 days.

Holiday Extras would like to wish all our customers "Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig" - Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Remember to check back with us for up to the minute travel news and great deals on airport parking and hotels.