Reasons why more Kenyans should celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Let the pinching begin – Locals plan for St. Patrick's on Saturday

When he was 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave. He spent about six years in bondage, forced to tend sheep.

Between 1820 and 1920, some 4.5 million Irish sailed to these shores to live. After becoming a cleric he returned to Ireland as a saint. So why do we associate him with the Irish holiday?

Patrick had become familiar with the Irish clan system since his former slavemaster, Milchu, had been a chieftain.

According to the Confessio of Patrick, Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. They praised him for driving out the Pagans and wrote blood-raising accounts of him throwing Pagan women from cliffs and performing exorcisms on Pagan deities.

During his 30 years in Ireland, Saint Patrick founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 people. The first U.S. St. Patrick's Day parade took place in NY on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the military marched through the city.

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Of course, none of this comes as a surprise in a country which celebrates Thanksgiving and Cinco De Mayo in nearly-identical ways, laden with cartoon stereotypes and, in many cases, celebrating the mass deaths of a people. At the time Patrick died, popular veneration of a saint developed without official sanctioning by the Roman Catholic Church.

Celebrated properly, St Patrick's Christian inheritance should be free from all narrow political trappings. He used a shamrock (the name given to the plant by the Irish) to illustrate his teaching that while there were three parts to the Shamrock, there was only one God. That legend still lives on and is the traditional importance of the shamrock.

What to wear on St Patrick's Day? It was not until 1798, the year of the Irish rebellion, that green became associated with St. Patrick's Day. ( Reuters ) Actor Mark Hamill attends the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland, on March 17, 2018.

Since he came to Canada, Fitzgerald admits he enjoys the day "American style", celebrating with food and drinks at Irish clubs.

Over time, the four-leafed clover has also made its way into typical St. Patty's Day festivities, because what better way to celebrate than with a token of good luck?

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