Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day! It is an annual feast day of St. Patrick , one of the patron saints in Ireland. Thus, today is a national holiday in Ireland. In the United States of America it is widely celebrated but not an official holiday.

St. Patrick blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's holiday.

The Chicago river is dyed green each year for St. Patricks Day celebration. This photo was taken last year (2008).


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