Dress in green on the 17th of March
If you're travelling to Ireland or the United States around March 17, while visiting a tourist landmark in a city, you may suddenly find people dressed in green, or wearing a shamrock attached to their sweater, some people may have their faces painted in the colours of the Irish flag. It's not an alien invasion, it's just that on these dates Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated.
It turns out that this man, who by the way was not Irish by birth but English, was kidnapped when he was 16 by some Irish raiders who took him to Ireland as a slave. Apparently, one night he heard voices telling him that he had to escape, and so he did.
Back to his homeland he became a priest, and a few years later he returned to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity. So that people could understand God and the Holy Trinity, he used a shamrock, which later became one of the symbols of Ireland.
He is also attributed the fact that there are no snakes in Ireland, since, according to legend, he chased them all out. The real explanation to this phenomenon is rather scientific, but as a story to tell the children could do.
The tradition of celebrating this day in grand style did not begin in Ireland, but in the United States. Apparently, Irish soldiers serving in the United States paraded in New York to the sound of Irish music. This connected them to their roots, and from then on, every 17th of March, the Irish show off their patriotism in commemoration of St. Patrick's death.
Nowadays, the celebrations have a cultural rather than a religious character. People dress in green, sing and dance to Irish music, eat corned beef (beef treated in brine and then boiled in vinegar on a slow fire), served with cabbage, potatoes and soda bread (bread made with baking soda). This was the best food Irish immigrants could afford in the United States.
Green is such a protagonist that in some places, such as Chicago, part of the river is dyed green; in others the water of some fountains, like the one in the White House, is dyed green. Some monuments or buildings also appear green using lights.
If you want to enjoy this Festival, there are plenty of activities to do: watch the parades, drink beer in the pubs, watch Irish music and dance shows, learn to dance Irish dances, etc.
One last thing, if you happen to run into a leprechaun, try to catch him. He is an old-looking goblin in a green dress who lives in the woods of Ireland. He makes shoes and accumulates gold coins that he keeps in clay pots. If you are able to stare at him, the leprechaun is forced to give you all his gold.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!