St. Patrick’s Day

This Irish holiday is celebrated every year in the United States on March 17 as a non-official holiday. Schools, bank, government offices, and stores remain open. In Ireland, where it originated, it’s an official holiday. Canada, New Zealand, and any country that has a large Irish population also celebrates this day.  Pictures below show important vocabulary related to St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick promoted Christianity throughout Ireland in the fifth century when it was not a popular religion. He built churches and converted many pagans to his religion. He was given the title of "Saint" because it was believed he performed many miracles. (A person becomes a saint when he or she does something that is miraculous). According to one legend, St. Patrick rid Ireland of a snake infestation, which is why his image is often shown with snakes at his feet. (See the snakes around his feet in the picture to the right?)

st patrick
Ireland is an island (land surrounded by water). It lies west of Great Britain.
A three-leaf clover is also called a shamrock. This image often represents Irish culture.

A leprechaun is a mythical character (not real). He’s a very small person, and if you catch him, he will lead you to a pot of gold.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many cities in the U.S. with a big parade. Irish and non-Irish people celebrate, and politicians often walk in it.

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