Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (commonly known also as St. Paddy's Day) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on 17 March. Initially, Christians commemorated Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, but more recently it has become a day that celebrates the Irish culture in general. Perhaps, the best part of this holiday is the fact that it is not celebrated solely in Ireland, but it has become widely popular in other countries, especially with a strong presence of Irish population. This article will show you how St. Paddy's Day is celebrated in Australia.
Saint Patrick and the Colour Green
Although little is known about Saint Patrick's life, it is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the 4 century. The story goes that he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and managed to escape after God showed in his dream and told him to flee to the coast where he would board a ship and return to Britain. After his return, he joined the Church and studied to be a priest.
In the beginning, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue, however over the years the green colour became more commonly used. According to Irish folklore Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. As a result, nowadays the green shamrock is seen as one of the main symbols of St. Paddy's Day.
The Irish were among the first Europeans to settle in Australia. They were a portion of the many convicted Britons shipped to Australia in the 1700s. However, more than 300,000 Irish people migrated to the country between 1840 and 1914, mainly to avoid the famine in their homeland. Nowadays, around 30% of the Australian population have some Irish ancestry.
Although, celebrated in most bigger cities in Australia, St. Paddy's day is really famous in Sydney and Brisbane. In fact in Sydney there is a huge parade complete with overarching narrative and themed floats. What might be more noteworthy though, is the party scene in each city. All pubs are decorated in green, work till late and serve plenty of Jameson, Guinness and Irish music. Moreover, you can participate in the St. Patrick's Day Booze Cruise which sails through Sydney's harbour for 3 hours, providing you with a once in a lifetime experience.