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When is St Patrick’s Day and how can you celebrate it in Norfolk?

St Patrick's Day / St Patricks Day / Guinness party at The Queens Head pub, Thurlton. Photo:Antony Kelly

St Patrick's Day / St Patricks Day / Guinness party at The Queens Head pub, Thurlton. Photo:Antony Kelly

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2008

Here’s everything you need to know about St Patrick’s Day, from who he was to how you can mark the occasion.

What is St Patrick’s Day and when is it?

Also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, St Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on the death date of Saint Patrick, March 17. The day marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, commemorates St Patrick and celebrates Irish culture and heritage. Traditional celebrations include parades, festivals and the wearing of green clothes or shamrocks.

Who was Saint Patrick?

Patrick, whose real name was actually Maewyn Succat, was born in to a wealthy family in AD 387 in Kilpatrick, Scotland. Records state that at age 16, Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. Once he escaped he left Ireland by ship, but shortly after had a dream in which the people of Ireland begged him to return. He decided to head back to tell people about Christ. He converted thousands of Pagan Irish people to Christianity and used their symbols to explain his religion - most famously using shamrocks, a clover shaped symbol, to explain the Holy Trinity.

It is often said that following his death many legends grew up around Patrick, which led him to become Ireland’s foremost saint - despite never being canonized by the Catholic Church.

Where is St Patrick’s Day celebrated?

The occasion is a national holiday is Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but is also celebrated across the world.

Where can you celebrate?

A selection of bars, clubs and restaurants in Norwich are holding events to mark the occasion, including The Cottage, Bar & Beyond, Lollards Pit, The Lamb Inn, The York Tavern, Woodlands Club, The Assembly House and Tasburgh Sports and Social Club.

Oak Bar & Terrace on Yarmouth Road is holding a pop up Irish pub, from 1.30pm onwards, with a live showing of the England v Ireland rugby, an Irish band, river dancers and a charity auction.

Expect to see lots of green accessories out and about - from top hats to make up and wigs.

• Will you be celebrating St Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments below.

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