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On March 17, Ireland and the Irish diaspora celebrate St. Patrick’s Day around the world. Cities with large Irish populations celebrate with parades, parties, and traditional music. In fact, the first St. Patrick’s Day festivities were not held in Ireland at all, but in areas with large immigrant Irish populations, such as New York City, which held the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762.
 
Patrick was not the first or the only saint associated with Ireland, but he is the most famous. Patrick was a 4th-century Roman living in Britain when he was kidnapped and forced to work as a slave in Ireland. He eventually escaped and became a Christian leader. Patrick returned to Ireland and helped popularize Christianity there. St. Patrick’s Day marks Patrick’s death, although the holiday is less a religious remembrance than a celebration of Irish identity.
adapt
Verb

to adjust to new surroundings or a new situation.

associate
Verb

to connect.

Christian
Noun

people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers.

culture
Noun

learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

deli
Noun

(delicatessen) store selling freshly prepared or easily prepared foods, such as cooked meat, cheese, or salads.

diaspora
Noun

community of people scattered from their homeland.

escape
Verb

to get away.

eventually
Adverb

at some point in the future.

Great Britain
Noun

large island in Western Europe consisting of the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales.

identity
Noun

how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.

immigrant
Noun

person who moves to a new country or region.

introduce
Verb

to create, begin, or make an idea known for the first time.

kidnap
Verb

to hold a person hostage, usually for ransom.

national holiday
Noun

celebration or commemoration marked by citizens of a nation.

popularize
Verb

to make something attractive, acceptable, or understandable (popular) to a great number of people.

public
Noun

people of a community.

recipe
Noun

set of instructions for preparing a specific dish of food.

Noun

large stream of flowing fresh water.

Roman Empire
Noun

(27 BCE-476 CE) period in the history of ancient Rome when the state was ruled by an emperor.

seal
Noun

formal or official stamp, emblem, or other mark.

shamrock
Noun

small plant (a type of clover), usually with three leaves.

skyscraper
Noun

very tall building.

slave
Noun

person who is owned by another person or group of people.

soldier
Noun

person who serves in a military.

symbol
Noun

something used to represent something else.

tradition
Noun

beliefs, customs, and cultural characteristics handed down from one generation to the next.

uniform
Noun

identical set of clothes for members of an organization, such as a school or military.