Children ride in a parade float at the 2010 St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Omagh, Northern Ireland. St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Photograph by Kenneth Allen, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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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.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    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.

    river Noun

    large stream of flowing fresh water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: river
    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.