St Patrick's Day celebrations underway in Auckland

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Breffny Morgan: It's the day of his death, yes, the date is disputed, the date of his arrival to Ireland is 432, so this is when Ireland became quite Catholic and during the Middle Ages we became the land of saints and scholars, it was a very academic style place with lots of monasteries.

By the end of the 7th century, many legends had developed about Saint Patrick. The day is named for an actual man: St. Patrick, who was canonized as "the Enlightener of Ireland". And I'm happy to say that us Episcopalians still treat St. Patrick with the respect he deserves, as March 17 is the feast day of St. Patrick here as well.

Musicians and dancers performing alongside a huge inflatable leprechaun were among the more than 60 floats and acts that were part of the annual parade marking Ireland's national day, which kicked off at midday on Ponsonby Rd. When he was 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave.

Between 1820 and 1920, some 4.5 million Irish sailed to these shores to live. Patrick returned home and apparently received religious training as a priest. He envisioned returning to Ireland to teach the Irish about Christianity.

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Caleb Threlkeld. He stated that the white clover was worn by people in their hats on the 17th of March, St Patrick's Day, with the belief that this three-leafed grass represented the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

There is much more to this day than making sure you are cloaked in all green in an attempt to escape the unavoidable: being pinched. A previous missionary, Palladius, had not been successful in his mission to convert the Irish, and Patrick replaced him.

The holiday is celebrated by those both with and without Irish ancestry. 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.

Contrary to popular belief, Saint Patrick was not Irish.

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"Obviously, we don't condone it and as you can see today, Irish people are just fun-loving - they (scammers) were just a few bad apples".

It was on that 1762 day that Irish soldiers serving in the British Army made a decision to parade in New York City to celebrate their singular heritage.

Trusting in God, Saint Patrick set out on a 200-mile journey through unknown territory.

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