St. Patrick's Day

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Politics, culture, quizzes, and more

St. Patrick
St. Patrick on the Hill of Tara, where Catholic tradition says he performed a miracle and began converting the nobility of Ireland. 

St. Patrick's Day celebrates the life of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who converted the Irish to Christianity in the 400s CE. By extension, the holiday is a celebration of Ireland, its people, and its history. This solemn holy day has spread and changed across the world. Learn more about the history and observation of the holiday, and the nation that inspires it.

Special Features

St. Patrick's Day: Until Recently, More Dallas than Dublin
How the Irish celebrate their holiday

St. Pat's Day by the Numbers
24% percent of Massachusetts residents are of Irish ancestry

Those Quotable Irish
John Millington Synge, W.B. Yeats, and others

Irish Proverbs
A good beginning is half the work

Irish Movies
Our entertainment editor picks the best Irish cinema

Encyclopedia: Saint Patrick
From enslaved herdsman to Christian missionary

In the Company of St. Patrick
Ten major Irish saints

History and Background

What's the Symbolism of the Irish Flag?
Rarely has a flag possessed such relevance

Almanac: Ireland
Geography, history, politics, statistics

Encyclopedia: Land, People, History of Ireland
32,598 sq. miles and one-third of Britain's size

The Northern Irish Conflict: A Chronology
Geography, history, and overview of the peace process

Literature and Language

Notable Irish Writers
"The Irish, condemned to express themselves in a language not their own, have stamped on it the mark of their own genius." —James Joyce

The annual James Joyce celebration

In Joyce's Wake
Today's Irish writers live up to legend

Encyclopedia: Irish language
The roots of the Gaelic language

Irish Literature & Folklore Quiz

Irish English Quiz

More Fun Stuff

St. Patrick's Day Slider Game

St. Patrick's Day Hangman Game

St. Patrick's Day Activities from