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Culture Lesson: St. Patrick's Day

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March 17 is Saint Patrick's Day (casually known as 'St. Paddy's Day'), a feast day for Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

We are not sure exactly when St. Patrick lived, but it is believed that he worked as a missionary (converting people to Christianity) in Ireland during the fifth century.  Although he was not born in Ireland, he was taken there as a slave at the age of 16 and he is famous for all the good work that he achieved there.

One popular miracle that legend attributes to him was ridding Ireland of snakes. This might or might not be true; however, it is widely accepted that he did a lot to bring the teachings of Jesus to the people of Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated not only by Irish people, it is popular with non-Irish people around the world too. Outside of Ireland, the biggest celebrations are held in cities that have big Irish populations, most notably in Boston, Chicago and New York.

Celebrations usually take the form of street parades (with marching bands)  and going to Irish bars. People traditionally wear green (the colour of Ireland) and drink Guinness (a famous, black, Irish beer).    

March 17 is celebrated as it is believed to be the date of his death.

Now match up the key words to their definitions:

Link: Culture Lesson 'Boxing Day''

  • Succeed in finishing something or having reached an aim:
  • A christian saint who is believed to give special help to a country:
  • Particularly or most importantly:
  • Removing something unwanted:
  • To think that something is the result or work of something or someone else:
  • An unusual and mysterious event that is thought to have been caused by a god:
  • A person who has been sent to a foreign country to teach their religion to the people who live there: