St. Patrick's Day
On February 22, 2018, An Post will issue a stamp to once again commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.
St Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick as it is officially known, is celebrated on 17 March each year to honour Ireland’s patron saint. It has become one of the biggest and most celebrated saints’ days all around the world, not just here in Ireland.
There are parades through the streets of the biggest cities in every corner of earth just as there are through the smallest villages here at home. In fact, it is often said that on 17 March everyone, everywhere, is Irish.
Saint Patrick's Day began to be noticed as a major event as far back as the ninth and tenth centuries when it was celebrated by the Irish in Europe. In the early 1600s it became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland and then later in the Anglican Church of Ireland calendar. It wasn’t until 1903 that St Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland.
Today, as you look around the world on 17 March, you’ll see huge celebrations in the United States, Britain, Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, all of which have very big Irish communities. Interestingly, the largest parades, in terms of size, are in Dublin, New York, in the USA and Birmingham in the UK.
This year An Post will again release a stamp to mark St Patrick’s Day. The new stamp was designed by Dublin-based graphic designers Post Studio and features an image of the saint. This is a detail from St Patrick (1603) which is a rare hand-coloured print engraved by Flemish artist, Adriaen Collaert. The work celebrates the life of Saint Patrick and appears courtesy of The National Gallery of Ireland.