Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day Quick Facts - ZA

AKA NameFeast of St. Patrick
HashtagsCompiled on#StPatricksday
2024 Date17 March 2024
2025 Date17 March 2025

Saint Patrick's Day

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Saint Patrick's Day History

Saint Patrick's Day commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is a day of recognition for Saint Patrick’s contributions to Christianity in Ireland, allowing significant moments for reflection upon one’s cultural heritage and faith. In Ireland, as well as many parts of the world, Saint Patrick's Day is traditionally observed with parades, public gatherings, and the wearing of green attire or accessories.

Originating in the early 17th century, Saint Patrick's Day started as a religious observance recognizing Saint Patrick's evangelizing efforts in Ireland. It later evolved into a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and heritage. In South Africa, where Irish immigrants have settled over centuries, Saint Patrick's day holds relevance as it provides an opportunity for the Irish-South African community to honour not just Saint Patrick but their own Irish lineage and heritage. It is also viewed as an occasion to celebrate diversity within the wider South African community, where cultural inclusion and appreciation are promoted.

In South Africa, Saint Patrick's Day is often observed with social gatherings, festive meals, and music. People may attend parades or parties, often adorned in green, reflecting the colour closely associated with Ireland. Independent pubs and restaurants may host events featuring traditional Irish food and drink. While it is not a public holiday in South Africa, it is nonetheless observed by many on the 17th of March.

Facts about Saint Patrick's Day

  • Approximately 10 million pints of Irish Guinness stout are consumed on an average day around the world. On St. Patrick's Day, nearly 13 million are consumed.
  • St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Trinity to non-Christians. The leaves stood for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • South Africa has a small but significant Irish community, many of whom are descendants of Irish immigrants who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries. St. Patrick's Day is a chance for them to connect with their heritage.
  • the "Declaration" (Latin: Confessio) and "Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus" (Latin: Epistola). There is no reference to St. Patrick in the Bible as he lived centuries after the events in the New Testament.

Top things to do in South Africa for Saint Patrick's Day

  • Wear green! In some parts of the world, the custom is to pinch people who aren't wearing the color of shamrocks.
  • The heart of any Irish neighborhood is its local pub. Share a couple of green Guinness beers with friends at a local Irish pub or try Magner's (Bulmer's) apple cider as an alternative.
  • Attend Saint Patrick's Day Festival in Cape Town: Listen to live Irish music, watch Irish dancing, and sample traditional Irish food and drink at various venues throughout the city. Sometimes, Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain is even lit up in green to mark the occasion.
  • Read a book to learn more about Saint Patrick:
    The Confession of Saint Patrick translated by John Skinner: The book includes autobiographical writings of Saint Patrick himself, providing a direct insight into his life, beliefs, and missionary works.
    Saint Patrick - by Jonathan Rogers: Relates the famed saint's life story in an exciting and engaging manner, depicting his journey from a teen-aged captive to becoming a missionary.

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