Within living memory Dublin was quiet on St Patrick’s Day with all pubs closed. It was a little like Christmas Day with Mass in the morning before noon followed by family lunch and a snooze.
Today 17 March is a break in Lent not only in Ireland. Even Edinburgh, which has St Andrew, is marking the day.
St Patrick was born about 400 and a century before St David.
In Wales St David’s relics are far from the capital and St David’s Day starts with a walk from St Non’s Chapel on the coast to St David’s Cathedral in St Davids.
So in Ireland there is a morning walk from Saul, where Patrick died in 461, to the Church of Ireland Down Cathedral where a wreath of flowers is placed on St Patrick’s outdoor tomb.
The cross community celebrations in Downpatrick include a free Irish stew lunch.