Saint Patricks Day | Irish Prime Minister Meet Joe Bidden

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny was in Washington, Thursday, for the celebration of St. Patrick's Day or St. Patrick's Day, a religious holiday celebrated mainly by Irish Catholics.

Prime Minister Kenny will meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at his residence at the Naval Observatory before meeting with President Barack Obama in the White House. PM Kenny also will attend a reception with members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Thursday night, Kenny will return to the White House to attend the St. Patrick's Day reception, where he will symbolically hand over to President Obama a traditional bowl of shamrock. Shamrock is a three-leafed clover type plant that became a symbol of Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day is a holiday that honors the patron saint of Ireland. Many ancestors of Americans of Irish descent emigrated to America in the 1840s to save himself from great famine in Ireland.

Saint Patrick's feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times he became more and more widely known as the patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick's feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s. 

Saint Patrick's Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The church calendar avoids the observance of saints' feasts during certain solemnities, moving the saint's day to a time outside those periods. Saint Patrick's Day is occasionally affected by this requirement, when 17 March falls during Holy Week. 

This happened in 1940, when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, where it was officially observed on 14 March (15 March being used for St. Joseph, which had to be moved from March 19), although the secular celebration still took place on 17 March. 

 Saint Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. (In other countries, St. Patrick's feast day is also March 17, but liturgical celebration is omitted when impeded by Sunday or by Holy Week.)

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