On March 17, many countries celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland. For millions of people, noisy festivities, green shamrocks and Irish tunes have become a symbol of the beginning of spring and the rebirth of life. This holiday is also loved in Russia. How to celebrate and what to do on the greenest day of the year – Izvestia figured it out.
Saint Patrick’s Day – what is it?
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the day of the death of Ireland’s patron saint. It is believed that the saint, who lived in the 4th-5th centuries AD, gave the Irish writing, and also drove the snakes off the island. The Russian Church also recognized Patrick in 2017, but honors him on March 30.
It is curious that in fact the saint was not Irish, and his name was different – Mavin Sukkat. According to legend, Saint Patrick lived in Roman Britain and was a Roman from a wealthy family. But one day he was kidnapped by robbers and sold into slavery on a neighboring island – in Ireland. For the first six years, Patrick remained in slavery, but he prayed continuously until he heard the voice of God – a sign of imminent release. The future saint really managed to escape to his homeland, where he later took the holy orders and took the name Patrick. The saint told his story in the “Confession” – today it is the main source of information about his life.
St. Patrick did not manage to stay in Britain for a long time. One day, an angel appeared to him in a dream and in a vision gave him a letter instructing him to return to Ireland. He did just that, living in the country for the rest of his life and converting several thousand people to Christianity. In Ireland, Patrick performed another miracle – he managed to expel all the snakes from the island, and so far not one of them has appeared again.
St. Patrick’s Day symbols
The main symbol of the holiday is a three-leaf clover. It was with his help, as legend says, that Saint Patrick explained to the Irish the meaning of the Trinity. On this day, gingerbread and shamrock-shaped cookies are baked, as well as traditional dishes: cabbage with bacon and corned beef. Clothes are decorated with shamrock-shaped ornaments, and souvenirs are sold at thematic fairs.
Another symbol of the day is the leprechaun, a short man from Celtic myths in a green top hat. It is believed that on March 17, leprechauns jump off their rainbows to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the people. Leprechauns are revered as guardians of wealth, and according to legend, whoever can catch a little man on this day will be given a pot of gold or three wishes by a leprechaun. In reality, the leprechaun has long become a symbol of advertising campaigns and the central character of many festive works and productions.
The main color of the holiday is green. It is also on the flag of the country. On the day of the celebration in Ireland and many English-speaking countries, almost every passer-by is dressed in a green outfit on the street. There is even a comic tradition, according to which a person who has ignored the dress code can be pinched by the guardians of the rituals.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17 since 1762. This is the date of the adoption of Christianity in Ireland, the day of honoring its spiritual patron, as well as the cultural heritage of the country. The main symbols of the celebration are in the Izvestia Gallery. In the photo: a tourist at the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland
On this day, celebrations around the world include parades, dances and street festivities. Indispensable attributes are green and three-leaf clover. In the photo: the Chicago River is traditionally painted green in honor of the holiday.
In Russia, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1999 as part of the Irish Week with the support of the embassy of this country. In the photo: a festive parade on the Arbat, Moscow
St. Patrick’s Day falls on the period of fasting preceding Easter, but in honor of the holiday, restrictions are relaxed and alcohol is allowed, which is also a tradition. In the photo: hundreds of officers and employees gather for the annual holiday parade in New York, USA
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity as a Christian missionary and fighter against paganism. In the photo: the festive parade in Dublin, Ireland, is the largest parade in the world by the number of participants
In 2017, the Russian Orthodox Church included St. Patrick (Patrick) in the Orthodox Menologion (saints) and honors him on March 30. In the photo: street musicians play for the assembled guests at the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Moscow’s Sokolniki
Celebrations and festivals in honor of St. Patrick’s Day in Russia take place throughout the week. At this time, it is customary to honor the culture and traditions of the Irish: listen to Celtic music, watch movies, drink ale and much more. In the photo: celebration in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park
The active promotion of St. Patrick’s Day as a holiday of Irish traditions and culture around the world began in the mid-1990s at the suggestion of the country’s government. Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sipping a pint of Guinness at Cavalry Barracks after the Irish Guards St. Patrick’s Day parade, Hounslow, England
Initially, St. Patrick’s Day was exclusively a church holiday, and until 1970 all pubs were closed on this day. Pictured: Workers paint the Chicago River green. This urban custom dates back to 1962.
Religious leaders in Ireland have recently expressed concern about the overly secular nature of St. Patrick’s Day. It has long ceased to be a purely church event, having turned into mass folk festivals, in which even pets take part. In the photo: the owners dressed up this dog of the traditional British Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed in a leprechaun costume and took it with them to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the center of Moscow
Initially, blue was considered the symbolic color of St. Patrick’s Day. Over time, it transformed into green in accordance with the color of the main attributes of the holiday: the shamrock and the leprechaun costume. Photo: St. Patrick’s Day parade organized by the Irish Cultural Center in Paris
The fairy-tale character leprechaun is also one of the most recognizable symbols of the celebration. According to legend, a leprechaun is a gnome with a red beard, dressed all in green, who guards the pots of gold where the rainbow touches the ground. The one who manages to catch a leprechaun will become not only rich, but also lucky. In the photo: St. Patrick’s Day in Bavaria, Landsberg an der Lech
How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
In Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as Montserrat and Newfoundland in Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. But the brightest celebrations take place in the capital of Ireland, Dublin.
The parade in honor of the saint in Dublin has been considered the “national symbol” of the country for more than a decade and is not inferior in color and fun to the Bavarian Oktoberfest or carnival in Rio. Every year in mid-March, tens of thousands of people come to Ireland just to drink Irish ale and take part in mass celebrations and dances. By evening, tired people gather in pubs, and the fun continues there: despite the days of Great Lent, it is even allowed to drink alcohol on this holiday. Over time, similar parades with flags, bagpipes, Irish street dances in national costumes (men wear kilts similar to skirts) and leprechaun hats began to be held all over the world – from New York to Australia.
Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Moscow
This holiday did not bypass Moscow either: for more than ten years, a grandiose procession with Irish flags and songs took place on the Old Arbat, but the tradition was interrupted during the pandemic. Today, celebrations in honor of the saint are held in different cities of Russia, and on Saturday, March 18, a folk festival dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day will be held in the Moscow club Izvestia Hall. The House of Music will also join the celebration: thematic concerts will be held on March 17 and 18. No less grandiose program was prepared in St. Petersburg. For two days, the Irish Music Festival will take place on the stage of the Aurora Concert Hall.
Many restaurants and pubs of the city have prepared a special entertainment program on this day: guests can not only enjoy Irish ale and other drinks in the company of friends, but also get in touch with Irish culture. Muscovites are waiting for concerts, performances, pub tours and Irish-style quizzes. There is an event for every taste, the main thing is to bring a good mood with you.
So, in the pubs of Pub Life Group, they will devote a whole week to St. Patrick – at this time you can try dishes inspired by the culture of Ireland and the colors of the national flag. And in the Stay True Bar on March 17, the Leprechaun Set will appear on the menu. restaurateurs have even prepared a beer pub quest performance “Purely Irish Drinking”: it will start on March 18 from the Tap & Barrel pub on Bolshaya Dmitrovka. For two kilometers of the route, guests will bypass several establishments and become accomplices of what is happening along with the Irish bandit from the McGowan family. They will have to meet new characters and complete tasks at every point along the way.
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