The Saint Patrick's Day or National Day is an Irish Catholic feast which celebrates St. Patrick (395-461), the patron saint of Ireland. On March 17, is a public holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The feast of St. Patrick is celebrated by the Irish throughout the world, expatriates or descendants of many emigrants, and its popularity now extends to non-Irish who participate in the festivities and claiming "Irish for a day." The celebrations are usually call the green and everything that belongs to the Irish culture: the feast of St. Patrick as practised today sees the participants, whether Christian or not, at least wear a garment with green, attend to "parade" consume food and drink Irish, especially alcoholic beverages (beer and stout Irish, as the Murphys, Smithwicks, Harp or Guinness, or whiskeys, Irish cider, Irish coffee ).
The parade in Dublin, which punctuates a feast of St. Patrick which takes the form of a five-day festival brought together over 500 000 employees in 2006.
It is the city of New York which houses the largest parade for St. Patrick's, with more than two million spectators on Fifth Avenue, before the towers of the sanctuary dedicated to St. Patrick, built in the nineteenth century in style flamboyant. The first manifestation of St. Patrick's in New York date back to 1762, when Irish soldiers paraded in the city on March 17. On the day of Saint Patrick, the Irish colony of San Francisco is organizing a large parade in the streets. The statue of Bishop evangelizer of Ireland and walked east on a float decorated with national colors. Other major parades are held in Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, Savannah, Denver, Scranton, Toronto, Argentina… and in other places in Europe, Australia and Asia.
In addition to a celebration of Irish culture, St. Patrick is behind a Christian holiday celebrated by the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland and other Christian communities. The party always takes place during Lent. In the Christian calendar, St. Patrick was moved to Monday when it falls on a Sunday. It is traditional for some Christians observe a fast for Lent, the break during the day of Saint Patrick.