St. Patrick's Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century.
The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon.
Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle.
Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.
In the centuries following Patrick's death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture.
raider: a person who attacks an enemy in their territory
to job (the snakes): to poke with a finger, foot, or pointed object.
to waive: to refrain from using
feast: a large meal, typically a celebratory one.
apostle: each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ (apôtre)
Video: ABC News