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St. Patrick might not be the most popular or well-know saint, but his day of feast has become popular all over the world and is celebrated with large parades by thousands of people every year.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Patrick is a saint of the Catholic Church, and his day is celebrated 17th March, the day of his death. He is the patron saint of Ireland.
Even though he is a Catholic saint other branches of Christianity also venerate him, which has helped spread his day of celebration around the globe.
Most of what we know about his life comes from a book he wrote. However, it is short and doesn’t give much details. According to it he was kidnapped from Britain and taken to Ireland to serve as a slave, he later escaped and returned home where he became a priest. And then in adulthood he went back to Ireland to spread the Catholic faith. He is believed to have lived in the first half of the 5th century. The 17th of March has been accepted as the day he died, but it hasn’t been confirmed and not even the year is clearly known.
Legend goes that he created over 300 Catholic churches in Ireland and baptised over 100000 people during his time there.
Shamrocks, snakes and sticks
During St. Patrick’s day celebrations it’s common to see people with shamrocks on their clothes, using walking sticks and holding plastic snakes. All of these are symbols of St. Patrick as they were part of his teachings.
He used the shamrock to represent the holy trinity. The snakes are because St. Patrick is said to have banished all snakes from Ireland and sent them to the sea after they interrupted him while fasting.
The stick story happened in England rather than Ireland. It is said that when he was returning home after years in Ireland St. Patrick was carrying a walking stick that he stuck on the ground as he taught the people of the land. In one town the teaching took so long that the stick grew roots and became a tree.
Festival in London
This year the St. Patrick festival in London will be held over 3 days from tomorrow Friday 16th until Sunday 18th and it will be in Trafalgar Square with some activities in other locations.
There are going to be food and drink stalls, photography exhibitions, film screenings, live music and of course a parade on the last day. The festival is meant for the whole family and is accessible for those with disabilities. However, keep in mind that very large crowds can gather and there is a lot of beer and whisky consumed.
You can find more information here. And to know more about is always better to learn the English language with Way Language school.
If you prefer something a bit more relaxed many pubs will have their own celebrations during the whole weekend.
St. Patrick’s in Guildford
There won’t be any parades or festival in Guildford. However, many pubs will have their own small celebrations with lots of Guinness flowing.