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A Guide to St Patrick's Day

• Written by Josh

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Happy St Patrick's Day! Today is the day that people in the Republic of Ireland and around the world celebrate the life of St Patrick.

To mark this occasion, Lifeline24 would like to take you through the history of this marvellous day. What is it really all about, and how do people celebrate in the modern day?

Who is St Patrick?

It is believed that St Patrick was born into a wealthy religious family in Britain during the 4th Century. At the age of 16 St Patrick, or Maewyn Succat as it is believed he was named, was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken over to Ireland to be a slave.

It is said that the future patron saint of Ireland was sold to a druid chief and worked as a herdsman. It was during this time that St Patrick found God. Stories say he prayed up to 100 times a day during his time as a slave.

He is also believed to have had a dream in which God told him to leave Ireland by heading to the coast. There, he was told, a ship would be waiting for him. He followed this dream and escaped from Ireland after six years of being a slave. Returning to England, he trained to become a priest.

Whilst back in England he also took the Christian-Roman name of Patricius, which was later known as Patrick. He returned to Ireland many years later as a Christian missionary. There, he converted thousands of the pagan Irish to Christianity.

The legend is that St Patrick used the leaves of the Shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Over the next few decades he would continue to travel across the country, establishing monasteries, schools, and baptising and ordaining priests.

St Patrick died at Saul on March 17, 461AD. He was later buried at Downpatrick, County Down.

First St Patrick's Day?

It is believed that the first celebration of St Patrick took place in 1631 when the Church established a Feast Day. The first official St Patrick's Day parade in Ireland took place in Dublin in 1937.

Meanwhile over in America the first parade on took place back in 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English army celebrated the holiday by marching through the streets of New York.

Global Celebration

Nowadays St Patrick's Day is global celebration, with famous cities around the world turning green for the day. It is national holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with parades taking place throughout both countries.

In America, the New York City parade is still going strong and over in Chicago they turn the water of the Chicago River green. Special landmarks are also turned green to mark the occasion including the Colosseum in Rome, Nelson's Column in London, Edinburgh Castle and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

Thousands of people will dress up as Leprechauns - with big green hats, ginger beards and shamrock logos. Pints of Guinness will be the drinks of the day - with many people starting early in the morning to get the celebrations under way.

Today is a day of celebration for everybody - but especially for those who are Irish or have Irish origins.

Luck of the Irish

To celebrate St Patrick's Day why not buy yourself or a loved one a personal alarm from Lifeline24? Our life-saving system is a quick and easy way of ensuring that help will be available if you have a fall or suffer from any other medical issue in your home.

The alarm comes with a base unit and a pendant that can be worn either around the wrist or around the neck. All the user has to do in an emergency is to press the red help button on their pendant.

This will send a help alert to our 24/7 Response Team who can call for help - either by contacting your emergency contacts or the emergency services depending on the situation. We advise that you select between five-six contacts when you make your order.

The pendant alarm is available on three different price plans to suit all financial situations. You can choose to go with the Monthly Plan, Annual Plan or the unique Lifetime Plan.

You can purchase a Lifeline alarm today. Alternatively, call our team on 0800 999 0400 today.

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