Who was the man we all toast and honour on the 17th of March? That’s the burning question! Ireland’s most honoured Saint, who has a whole day dedicated to him – was not born in Ireland. Roman Britain was his birthplace in 385 AD. We don’t really know much about what he did till he was sixteen. But it was then the Irish are said to have kidnapped him and brought him home as a slave. Tut tut…!! However, the voice of God spoke to him in those very tender years of youth, telling him to escape captivity. This he did – whence upon he began to study for the priesthood. It wasn’t till the mid 400’s he returned to Ireland as a Bishop, to convert the Irish population to Christianity, using the native Shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity in his preaching. His death on 17th March 461AD followed his tireless missionary career. Today he is held in huge reverence by the Irish and the anniversary of his passing is a day for everyone to come out and celebrate. How do we celebrate? Most Irish at home or abroad will go to Mass on St.Patrick’s Day Morning. Festivities then begin – generally with an afternoon parade in local towns, villages and cities. The shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Co. Cork. Locals dress up and march just 100 yards between two pubs! It’s a good job an old Irish law to close pubs on the 17th March was repealed – otherwise the day just wouldn’t be the same! The Irish use St.Patrick’s Day to showcase all that is good in the country – from the traditional hospitality of the hostelries, to the musical and literary culture of the land. Story telling, Irish dancing and music is usually accompanined with a pint of the black stuff or a shot of famous Irish Whiskey. Of course food is in the mix too – Good Food Ireland pubs and restaurants will be showcasing all the great local foods of the country on their menus, especially for the occasion. See our dedicated St.Patrick’s Day page for details!