(Irish: Lá -le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig),
colloquially St. Paddy's Day
or simply Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick
(circa AD 385-461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland,
and is generally celebrated on 17th of March.
The day is a national holiday of Ireland: it is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and
a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.
It is also a public holiday in Montserrat.
In Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, the United States,
Argentina and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated
but is not an official holiday.
Saint Patrick's Day in Canada
Click Play to hear the Music the dancers are dancing to
The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade
in Canada occurs each year in Montreal, the flag
of which has a shamrock in one of its corners.
The parades have been held in continuity since 1824;
however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated
in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in
the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest
of New France.
In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the
date was observed as a public holiday until 1992,
although the provincial government itself continues
to observe it as a paid holiday for government
employees. In any event,
St. Patrick's Day is
still widely celebrated throughout the province.
In the province of Manitoba, the Irish Association
of Manitoba runs an annual three day festival of
music and culture based around St Patrick's Day.
In 2004, the CelticFest Vancouver Society organized
an annual festival in downtown Vancouver to
celebrate the Celtic Nations and their culture.
This event, which includes a parade, occurs the
weekend closest to St. Patrick's Day.
In the City of Toronto from 1919 to 1927, the
Toronto Maple Leafs were known as the Toronto
St. Patricks, wore green jerseys. In 1999 when the
Leafs played on Hockey Night in Canada
(national broadcast of the NHL) on St. Patrick's Day,
the Leafs wore the green St. Pats retro jersey.
There is a large parade in the city's downtown
core that attracts over 100,000 spectators.
Although the baseball season is still in the
spring training phase when St. Patrick's Day
rolls around, the Toronto Blue Jays wear green
uniforms for the occasion. The Toronto Raptors
professional basketball team also wears a green
alternate uniform to celebrate the holiday.
Roger Whittaker – When Irish Eyes Are Smiling –
In March 2009, the Calgary Tower had changed its
top exterior lights to new green-coloured CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light)
bulbs just in time for St. Patrick's Day. The
lights were in fact part of the environmental
non-profit organization, Project Porchlight, and
were Green to represent environmental concerns.
Approximately 210 lights were changed in time for
St. Patrick's Day and almost resemble a
Leprechaun's hat during the evening light.
After a week, regular white CFLs took their place,
saving the Calgary Tower around $12,000 and
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 104 metric
tonnes in the process.