Dead Rabbit pub. Regarded as one of the best bars in the world. PHOTO/COURTESY
By SHOWBIZ WRITER
Do you have plans for St Patrick’s Day? If you don’t and you are in Nairobi join other revelers at Brew Bistro and other locations.
St Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick or the Day of the Festival of Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
The Brew Bistro will be serving freshly brewed green beer, Jameson inspired cocktails, Irish inspired tapas and a three course whiskey, beer and food pairing menu.
You can also celebrate a St. Patrick’s feast and pint at the Lord Erroll Restaurant, Hilton Hotel’s Jockey Pub and Kengele’s Lavington Green. At The Alchemist Bar, they will have a themed party with DJ 1Tyme. While this week’s edition of Funky Friday’s at The Concord will be dedicated to the holiday.
Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion- especially the Church of Ireland, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church.
The 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, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat.
It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America. In recent years, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations for having become too commercialised and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish.
Celebrations at a St. Patrick’s Day. PHOTO/COURTESY
St. Patrick’s Day revelry doesn’t exactly have the best reputation: for some, the holiday might bring to mind rowdy parades, unwanted pinching and warm pints in crowded bars.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Much of what is known about Saint Patrick comes from the Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself.
It is believed that he was born in Romano-Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church.
According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he “found God”. The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Patrick’s efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes).
Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.
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