Saint Patrick's 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
also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating
and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which encouraged and propagated
the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic
of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial
government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat.
Montreal hosts one of the longest-running and largest St. Patrick's Day parades in North America.
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