Vienna Marks St. Patrick’s Day

Vienna celebrates St. Patrick’s Day every year and this year’s festivities will take place for 11 days. This particular day in honor of St. Patrick is marked every March 17 but for this year, the big parade in the Austrian capital will occur on Saturday, March 20 from the Schottenkirche church to the Burgtheater.

For the entire celebration, there will be a film showing as well as concerts featuring Irish songs on March 19-20. The concerts will have some20 groups performing their kind of music. A poetry night at Charlie P’s Irish Pub and an evening of songs played on the piano at Bosendorfer’s Hall will be the final events. 

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and his feast day based on the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar normally falls during the season of Lent. He is also honored in the different parts of the world with various activities usually involving parades and other entertaining events. Other countries that celebrate this special day are the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and Argentina.

The Vienna commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day started in 1766 when the Spanish Ambassador to the Court of Vienna invited Irish residents in the city to a night of entertainment. His goal then was to make the Irish immigrants feel welcome and part of the community after having been exiled from their home.

St. Patrick was born as Maewyn Succat in Britain during the 4th century to a well off family. At the age of 16, though, he was taken by Irish raiders and was treated as a slave. He was then forced to work as a shepherd in County Mayo. But during those times of his suffering, he sought God. 

After dreaming of an angel who encouraged him to become a missionary and spread the words of God in Ireland, St. Patrick later decided to become a priest and committed to encouraging the people of Ireland to become Christians instead of following the pagan religion. He spent 30 years teaching people about the Holy Trinity and God’s important messages until his death on March 17 461 A.D.

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