Today is St. Patrick's Day.  The day when everyone is considered to be Irish and celebrates the wearin' o' the green!  But did you know that St. Patrick himself was NOT born Irish?  Nope, he was not.  In fact, St. Patrick was born in Britain in 385 A.D.  When he was eighteen years of age, he was brought to Ireland as a slave.  About six years later, he escaped slavery and became a priest.  While in the priesthood, St. Patrick had a vision and returned to Ireland to bring Christianity to the Irish people.  Myth has it that St. Patrick drove snakes out of Ireland; historians say there were never snakes in Ireland to begin with.  St. Patrick died March 17, 461 A.D.

March 17 is considered a national holiday in Ireland with banks, stores, and offices being closed for the day.  In the United States, the first St. Patrick's Day celebration on record was in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Many U.S. cities host parades on St. Patrick's Day.  In New York City, they held their first parade March 17, 1762.  The first St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago was March 12, 1955 (in Chicago if March 17 falls on a weekday, the parade is held the Saturday before).

Corned beef and cabbage and green beer are considered St. Patrick's Day feast staples.

Why shamrocks?  According to legend, St. Patrick used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity.  Ireland has adopted shamrocks as their national flower.

There you have it.  St. Patrick's Day facts and legends in a nutshell.  Enjoy your day!