St Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick's Day

Learn about Saint Patrick and find resources on Irish people, culture, and history.

17 March is Saint Patrick’s Day. It is the day when Irish communities around the world celebrate their culture with music, dancing, parades, and traditional food and drink. Saint Patrick is the Catholic patron saint of Ireland and often associated with symbols of Ireland such as the shamrock and the colour green.


Irish dancers - Family Fun Day - Victoria Square, 2015. 2015-10-18-IMG_0087

Who was Saint Patrick?

Catalogue recrod for Patrick: Patron Saint of IrelandPatrick was an British man who was captured as a teenager by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He managed eventually to escape and made his way to France where he studied to become a priest. When he was made a bishop he was sent back to Ireland to spread the Christian faith among the tribes there.

One story tells of Patrick getting rid of all the snakes in Ireland by praying. A more likely story is how he explained the Christian belief of the Trinity or the idea that God is three in one - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - by using a shamrock with its three parts. The shamrock is now the emblem of Ireland.

Some people believe that Saint Patrick died on 17 March, 460 AD. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world, wherever people of Irish descent live.

In the catalogue

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Ireland and things Irish


Find images of Irish people, performers and celebrations on Canterbury Stories

Des McDonald celebrating St Patrick's Day, 1990 © Christchurch Star, CCL-StarP-04288A

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