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Last Updated: May 13th, 2012 - 23:51:38 
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Saint Patrick's Day  

St. Patrick's Day
By Sarah Lane
Mar 21, 2012, 14:50 PST

Countdown Script

Saint Patrick's Day

As with almost any holiday's origin, there seems to be multiple recordings of how St. Patrick's Day began.  Almost all sources agree that St. Patrick's name was originally Maewyn Succat.  They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, because of this, he became closer to God.  Some sources say he was born in Wales in 385 AD, and still others say he was born in Britain in 387 AD. 

After six years, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest and then the second Bishop to Ireland.  He spent 30 years converting pagans to Christianity and established schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. 

St. Patrick was said to have used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) showing how three separate units could be part of the same body.  People began wearing shamrocks on their clothes to his sermons.  Green is the most recognizable color during this holiday as it represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland. 

The date of St. Patrick's death is not agreed upon. Some say that he died on March 17th, 461 AD. Another possibility is either March 8th or 9th and the days were added together to get March 17th. What we do know for sure is that the holiday came to America in 1737 and was celebrated in Boston that year.  Over 100 U.S. cities have St. Patrick's Day parades with the biggest one in New York City.

Source:, Nando Times, How Stuff Works

St. Patrick's Day Worksheets


Leprechaun Coloring Page

Color this leprechaun and his pot of gold.

Additional Learning Links

St. Patrick's Festival

This festival takes place in Dublin, Ireland and this site will help you locate information on festival events, street theatre, fireworks, international carnivals, bands, a treasure hunt, and music.  Under the heading "Fun Stuff" you'll find wallpaper, e-cards, competitions, a festival shop, and fun photos.  Read about the festival history and more!

Source:              St. Patrick's Festival, Dublin, Ireland

Reading Level:  Hard

How Saint Patrick's Day Works

Find out who St. Patrick was, the origin of St. Patrick's Day, the Legend of the Shamrock, the Legend of the Blarney Stone, and famous Irish Americans.

Source:             How Stuff

Reading Level:   Moderate

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