St. Patrick’s Day
Make it green!
St Patrick’s Day marks the feast day and anniversary of the death of a Christian missionary known as Patrick. He was born in the year 387, probably somewhere near the present day border between Scotland and England. At the age of 16, he was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave. During this period, he became very religious and after six years he fled back to his family.
Later in his life, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. He is said to have played an important role in converting the inhabitants of Ireland to Christianity and in ridding the island of snakes. However, there is no evidence that there have been any snakes in Ireland in the past 10,000 years. The “snakes” he drove out of Ireland may represent particular groups of pagans or druids. It is believed that St Patrick died on March 17 probably in the year 461 or 493 (according to different sources). St Patrick is buried under Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, and is one of the three patron saints of Ireland. The other patron saints are St Brigid of Kildare and St Columba. St Patrick’s Day celebrations were brought to Canada by Irish immigrants. The day is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland. In the rest of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, it is celebrated, but is not an official holiday.
Make it green! Whether you are celebrating at home with your kids, at the office, or at your favorite pub with friends, adding green to the day can make St. Patrick’s Day a little more festive than the average weekday. Wearing green, drinking green beer or milk shakes, dyeing food green, and putting up whatever kind of green decorations you can find at the local store are common but effective ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Some people also dye their hair green, get temporary tattoos with shamrocks or dress up in other ways almost as if it is a green-themed Halloween. Just make sure that hair dye is temporary! Check out local events. St. Patrick’s Day is a popular day for local events. Whether it is a party at your favorite bar, live Irish music, Irish dancing, or a huge, family-friendly parade, there’s always something going on come March 17, at least in major cities.
Sunday March 17 is Parade Day – Don’t Forget!
EC Toronto students — check out the Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday. It begins at 12:00 noon with the procession starting from Bloor and St. George (near the old U of T Varsity Stadium). The Parade will continue along Bloor Street down Yonge and finishes on Queen Street at Nathan Philips Square. And bring your non-perishable food item for the collection that will take place along the route.
And while you are there, be sure to look for the dancers from McGinley School of Irish Dance in the parade. This is the wonderful group who performed their exceptional Irish dancing for us at EC Toronto.
Your EC Toronto team
Be sure to celebrate – here is a list of places to enjoy! Irish Pubs in Toronto http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_irish_pubs_in_toronto/