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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

As some of you may already know from reading my Facebook page, I have been working for The Travelers Insurance Company for almost 7 years now. Today, there was a post about St. Patrick's Day fun facts on our website from our Travelers office in Ireland.

We all know that St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th, which is believed to be the day St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in 461 A.D. But did you know that as early as the 1600's, March 17th was a religious holiday? That St. Patrick's Day didn't become an official public holiday in Ireland until 1903? And that it wasn't until the mid-1990's that the traditional one-day feast evolved into a week-long festival in Ireland?

In Ireland:
~ The first St. Patrick's Day parade held in Ireland took place in Dublin in 1931.
~ The first St. Patrick's Day Festival was held on March 17, 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall, 2009's five-day festival drew almost one million visiters.
~ The shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, County Cork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village's two pubs.
~St. Patrick's Day is seen as a day on which Irish Catholics can break their Lenten fast.

"St. Patrick's Day is now a major festival in Ireland, with week-long celebrations," said Paula Hodson, Assistant General Manager, Agency, Sales & Marketing of the Travelers Ireland office, "People around the world and especially the U.S., have been celebrating the Irish on St. Patrick's Day for much longer than we have!"

La Fheile Phadraig shona dhaoibh go leir! -
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you!

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