ST. Patricks's day is one of Ireland's most important festivals; however, until recently, it was considered a religious holiday rather than one of parades/parties as in the USA. One of the first mentions of the Irish wearing a symbol in honor of the St. Patrick's Day was in 1681.
St. Patrick wasn't born Irish. He was the son of a Christian official whom lived on the western shores of Roman Britian in the late 4th Century. When Patrick was 16 he was captured by an Irish raiding party and taken back to Ireland to be sold as a slave. He was bought by one of the local kings and for 6 yrs. he tended sheep for his master in the Slemish Mts. of County Antrim in the north. When he was 22 an angel appeared to him and told him to escape. Off he ran and made it to the coast and stowed away on a ship bound for France which he remained in France for 8yrs. studying in the local monastery until one night the same angel appeared to him again. Patrick had a holy dream which revealed to him that the Irish were calling out for his return. when he revealed his dream to the local archbishop where he was commissioned by the Pope to set out on his mission to convert the Irish. Legend has it that St. Patrick's first act was to challenge the local Druidic priests. He traveled to the land surrounding Tara, the home of the pagan high kings/priests. The Druids seized him took him before Laoghire, the pagan king, The priests told thier king that Patrick's religion wasn't as powerful as the Druids by killing him with a cup of poisoned wine. The angel revealed the poison to Patrick and he boldly took the cup said a blessing over it and drank it to the bottom. When Patrick didn't die but asked for more wine the King was astounded and accepted Christianity and his whole cort followed suit; Patrick's mission had begun. I didn't find anything in my book where it mentioned the celebration of his birth or death. Sorry, I couldn't help you with that part of it. Hope you enjoyed the rest of the read.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
LONG LIVE the Irish!
Long live thier cheer!
Long live our friendship
Year after year!
~ OLD IRISH TOAST