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Raise a glass of green beer- Monday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day!  The holiday was named after Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland, and commemorates the arrival of Christianity in the country.  St. Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903.  

Though blue was the color originally associated with Saint Patrick, the tradition of the color green goes back as far as the 17th century.  The significance of the three-leaved shamrock is that Saint Patrick was said to have used the plant to explain the Holy Trinity to pagans.  

On the other hand, the leprechaun, a figure inspired by Celtic folklore, is an American invention that has nothing to do with Irish history.  Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a general celebration of Irish culture, and includes religious services, parades, festivals, parties and of course, plenty of drinking.  Erin go bragh!

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