For most Americans its a day to wear green - Use Green Glass in your Decor, and of course to drink green beer.
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Reader Ann U sent the following from wiki about St Patrick's Day.
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 Roman 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.
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 to convert, subjugate, and drive off the Pagans (specifically the Celts) 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.
Celebration and traditionsCelebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, (Irish traditional music sessions), and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. . Recently, landmarks have been lit up in green on St Patrick's Day. Christians also attend church services
Wearing of the greenOn St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the "wearing of the green"). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older.
The colour green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St Patrick's Day since at least the 1680s.
The wearing of the 'St Patrick's Day Cross' was also a popular custom in Ireland until the early 20th century. These were a Celtic Christian cross made of paper that was "covered with silk or ribbon of different colours, and a bunch or rosette of green silk.