March 17th, St Patrick’s Day, is a very important day for many people. It is the celebration of Ireland itself in Ireland and worldwide.
St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and known as the “Apostle of Ireland”.
On that day people dress in green and flags of green, white and gold fly from pubs and business houses. In Mayo every small town and village hold their own parades with music and marching bands. Usually after Mass or in the afternoon grown ups and children marching along the streets generate enthusiasm and joy. Parades are full packed with green costumes and festival floats.
On Achill Island the traditional pipe bands take a central role in this celebration by marching from village to village from a 6am reveille for most of the day.
People wear green badges and sprigs of shamrock on a lapel or hat; the elders complete the excitement of the day “drowning the shamrock”. According to an old tradition they meet in pubs and hotels for a few drinks and put the shamrocks into their last drink of the evening.
In Mayo if you find a four leaf shamrock you have to cut it with a black handled knife, wrap it and put it away, so the good luck will be with you.