Minister for Multiculturalism goes all green to celebrate St. Patrick Day

Today, people in Canada and around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. One of the most popular Irish traditions, this festival commemorates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It’s also a travel and tourism attraction and festival around the globe.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, cèilidhs, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services[ and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

Celebrated across Canada with parades and traditional music and dance, St. Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to highlight the important role that the more than 4.5 million Canadians of Irish descent have played and continue to play in our country’s history.

From their early settlements in Newfoundland to the larger waves of migration in the 19th century to the present day, Irish women and men have contributed much to making Canada the hospitable and diverse country we know today. Let’s take this day as an opportunity to showcase their rich heritage.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, I invite all Canadians to participate in the celebrations. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!

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