About Saint Patrick's Day
(Contributed by Leanne Guenther)
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on March 17th. In Ireland, Saint Patrick's Day is both a holy day and a national holiday. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland as he was the one who brought Christianity to the Irish.
According to legend, Saint Patrick used a shamrock to explain about God. The shamrock, which looks like clover, has three leaves on each stem. Saint Patrick told the people that the shamrock was like the idea of the Trinity, that in the one God there are three divine beings: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock was sacred to the Druids, so Saint Patrick's use of it in explaining the trinity was very wise.
Although it began in Ireland, Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in countries around the world. People with Irish heritage remind themselves of the beautiful green countryside of Ireland by wearing green and taking part in the festivities.
Saint Patrick's Day is usually celebrated with a parade. The one in Dublin, Ireland is known to some as the Irish Mardi Gras. But the one in New York City is actually one of the biggest. It lasts for hours. Two Irish wolfhounds, the mascots of the New York National Guard infantry regiment the Fighting 69th, always lead the parade. More than one hundred bands and a hundred thousand marchers follow the wolfhounds in the parade.