Saint Patrick’s Day is observed every 17 March in Australia with festivities and events across the country – particularly in pubs and bars and other night venues, since most years the celebrations take place on a week day after work.. It is not a public holiday, but is popular nevertheless.
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Possibly a third of the Australian population has at least some Irish ancestry, and about 10 percent, over two million people, identify themselves as “Irish Australians”. It’s therefore not a great surprise that Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated.
From the very beginning, Australia was being settled with Irish convicts, back when it was a penal colony. Even then, Saint Patrick’s Day was often observed.
In the early 1900s, Saint Patrick’s Day parades became common in both urban and rural centres of Australia. These often had a political emphasis, such as rallying support for World War I or for the independence of Ireland, then still under UK control.
But today, this holiday is more of a “fun day” for most. Wearing funny hats and green clothes is part of the revelry. And of course, drinking beer, reciting the occasional limerick, and doing an Irish jig are also considered appropriate to the day.
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