It’s time for one of the biggest parties and liveliest celebrations of the year.

One best celebrated with friends at the appropriate HQ, the O’Sullivans Irish Pub closest to home!

The 17th March is a hugely symbolic day for Irish people all around the world. There’s beer flowing in every pub, singing and dancing, parades in the streets, and everyone dresses up in green and covers themselves in shamrocks.

But…who exactly was Saint Patrick?


The legend of Saint Patrick

A public holiday in Ireland since 1903, the 17th March marks the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the founder of Irish Christianity in the 5th century.

His mythical story isn’t short on adventure:

  • as a teenager, Maewyn Succat (as he was known then) was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave to an Irish druid.
  • he became a shepherd, and met God in a dream.
  • he ran away to pursue a religious education in Normandy.
  • the Pope ordered him to evangelise Ireland.
  • to convey the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish kings, he used a clover or shamrock — its three leaves representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Legend also has it that he was responsible for ridding Ireland of its snakes… Hang on, snakes in Ireland?!

Ireland was then a Celtic land with pagan beliefs. Exit the druid ‘snakes’, and the island became Christian.


Saint Patrick died in the spring, a period of natural renewal traditionally celebrated with songs and dances. It’s when the trees turn green, as does the clover, which also a symbol of the season. Green also gives its colour to the island and its devout Catholics. The Irish flag includes a green stripe representing Catholics, and an orange stripe representing Protestants. The white unites them and represents peace between the two communities.

That’s it! Now you know why there’s a trickle of green food colouring in your beer, or why certain rivers turn green, as in Chicago! And also why we sport sprigs of clover in our buttonholes.

But hang on a second! We’re not done with the colour green just yet.

The leprechaun, the essential elf of the party

There’s also another reason we dress up in green for Saint Patrick’s Day, that’s linked to Ireland’s rich Celtic traditions. One of these is the infamous prankster pixie. Wearing green is supposed to make us invisible to the leprechaun, red-haired and dressed in green himself, who can’t resist the pleasure of pinching humans when he sees one!

To think that Saint Patrick is supposed to have rid Ireland of this ‘evil’ creature! But he’s not the spiteful sort and is there to party and cause mischief alongside the Irish every 17th March!

o'sullivans paris


For centuries, there was no question of going to the pub for a drink to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day — they were all closed! This all changed in the 1970s.

17th March parades, wherever the Irish emigrated

The Irish take their faith and traditions very seriously. So it was in America in the 18th century that Irish immigrants organised the first parades. 10 years after its independence, Ireland started to celebrate its patron in the same way.

From ancient religious festival to huge celebration!

The festivities inevitably became more commercialised. Starting in the 90s, the Irish government transformed the national day into a 5-day festival to promote Irish culture, with the Irish celebrating their roots and lovers of Ireland joining in the fun too…

st patrick paris irish pub

Saint Patrick’s Day has become one of the best known and most popular celebrations on the calendar, and what better place to celebrate than in one of our Irish pubs!

We always make sure there’s plenty of warmth, friendship, laughter, simplicity, brotherhood, Irish pride, songs, dances, and traditional music that make the uilleann pipes come alive. Not forgetting the beer of course!


Every year we honour the tradition by organising events over one or several days!

All decked out in Irish colours, the party often starts with live performances of traditional songs and dances, and continues til late, sometimes lasting for a whole week!

It’s when we’re all gathered together to celebrate this special day, that we understand the important part we play in the tradition.

We’re here to share our love of tradition with you, and to celebrate the events that mark and give rhythm to our lives, our encounters, our happiness and friendships!

Because life is all about having fun, and the craic must continue, we wish you all a fantastic Saint Patrick’s Day!