Saint Patrick’s Day

On March 16, 2015 by Greta

saint-patricks-day-leprechaunHistory of Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day dates back to the 17th Century, as a religious feast day that commemorates the death of St Patrick in the fifth century. Patrick is renowned for bringing Christianity to Ireland, and being cemented in history as the nation’s patron saint, and marking a date for national devotion. The day remained largely a religious celebration in the 20th Century, not becoming a public holiday in Ireland until 1904. Military parades began in around the 1920s and then Irish bars didn’t start opening until the mid-1960s. It was also at this time that the parades became more festive and flamboyant. In 1996 the celebration became the St Patrick’s Festival – a four day event filled with performances, guinness, parades treasure hunts, U2 tribute bands and all things green.

The true remarkableness of St Patrick’s Day is it’s international reach. No other national celebration is honoured so widely or by so many diasporas around the world – and non-Irish people. Australia Day, Independence Day and other national holidays are popular celebrations in their respective countries and by small communities of nationals in other countries. However, St Patrick’s Day has become an international celebration where huge portions of the population don their brightest green attire, enjoy a guinness or seven, and enjoy some traditional irish dancing and music.

Perhaps it’s because almost all Australians have an Irish great-grandparent or because everybody has at least a few Irish friends, or perhaps its just because the Irish know how to party and Australians love any excuse for a drink and a dance – but St Patrick’s Day is a staple celebration in the Australian calendar and it is celebrated in Irish pubs all across the country.

St Patricks Day in Sydney 2015

So how can we best celebrate this exciting national holiday? There are a plethora of Irish pubs across the city that put on special events and performances in honour of old mate St Pat. Unfortunately the big parade has already taken place on Sunday 15th March with a whole suite of performances, rides and stalls. But on Tuesday 17th March there is still a lot of exciting events taking place for you to get involved with.

P.J. Gallaghers Irish Pub has venues in Moore Park, Leichhardt and Parramatta and will no doubt be putting on a wonderful show this Tuesday. P.J. O’Brien’s on the corner of King and York Streets is another top quality Irish establishment. Other venues include Kelly’s Irish Pub in Newtown, Scruffy Murphys and Maloney’s Hotel in the city and Paddy Maguire’s in Haymarket.

Be sure to don your green and sip a few guinness’ tomorrow to get in the St Patty’s day spirit.


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