St Patrick’s Day is an Irish cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March every year. The date is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.
St Patrick’s day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and celebrated in many countries with significant populations of Irish descent such as Australia and New Zealand.
Celebrations often include street parades, wearing green clothes (the traditional colour of Ireland), wearing a shamrock (three leafed clover), and drinking. There is a legend that St Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
The man in the middles is dressed as a leprechaun , a diminutive supernatural being in Irish folklore, classed by some as a type of solitary fairy. They are usually depicted as little bearded men, wearing a coat and hat, who partake in mischief.
The Irish in Australia
Australia was colonised with both English and Irish people. That is why St Patrick’s Day has meaning to many Australians. Around 40,000 Irish convicts were transported to Australia between 1791 and 1867. Most of the laborers who voluntarily emigrated to Australia in the 19th century were drawn from the poorest sector of British and Irish society. One of the differences between Irish and English is that Irish are mostly Catholic and English are Protestant.
Many Australians including myself claim Irish ancestry. My great grandfather on my mother’s side of the family is from County Cork in Ireland.
St Patricks Day in Sydney 2021
There will be a festival held in the Rocks on Sunday, March 21st. According to their web site there will be dance performances, food. Surrounding areas will have activities as well as food, craft and gift stalls. Numbers of people will be restricted because of COVID restrictions, so get there early if you are interested.
More information (and my sources)
St Patrick’s Day (Wikipedia)
Irish Australians (Wikipedia)
St Patrick’s Day in Sydney 2021
Leave a Reply