On March 17th, the Irish celebrate the day of their patron St. Patrick and even though the holiday is Catholic, people from around the world and of different religions commemorate it.
According to historical information, St. Patrick was born in Banwen, Wales roughly around the year 385. His birth name was Maoin and he lived as a pagan until the age of 16.
At around that time he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish who attacked his village. During his years as a slave he was converted to Christianity and 6 years after the fact the saint managed to escape his masters, realizing that his life's mission was to baptize other pagans.
The saint then spent 12 years in a monastery. First he was given the office of deacon, then - preacher, and was finally named bishop. He changed his name to Patrick and was designated as the 2nd Bishop of Ireland.
The saint spread Christianity throughout the whole of the country, traveling a lot, and having objects named after him in the places he traveled through.
For 30 years of his life, St. Patrick baptized pagans and in his final days withdrew to County Down, where he died on March 17, 461. Since then the date of his death has been called St. Patrick's Day.
According to one legend, the saint drove away all of the snakes from Ireland with a sermon and it is a fact that these reptiles have indeed vanished from Irish lands.
The saint transformed the clover into a symbol of Ireland, since during his sermons he would use a 3 leaf clover to represent the union of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
St. Patrick's Day began as a Catholic holiday but today has more of a worldly character and is celebrated by many people who aren't Catholic.
According to tradition, on this day everyone must wear green clothes, eat green food and even drink green beer since this color is linked to the clover. Pinching those who aren't wearing green is also customary. The greatest celebrations of the holiday take place in Dublin, where hundreds of thousands of people gather each year.