St. Patrick's Day is usually celebrated March 17, but Ireland's bishops have shifted the feast day, in honor of the national saint, to Saturday, March 15, reported The Associated Press.
Church authorities reportedly spent weeks debating where to move the feast day because March 17, 2008, falls on the second day of Holy Week next year.
The liturgical norms would require the feast day to be moved to the earliest available date after Easter, which would be April 1. But church officials said the Vatican approved the March 15 date in order to minimize conflict with the scheduled civic events.
While religious celebrations honoring St. Patrick are affected, religious and secular authorities stressed this would not change secular festivities. The St. Patrick's Festival Committee in Dublin confirmed that next year's parade would be March 17 as usual. In addition, Monday, March 17, will remain an official day off of work in Ireland.This marks the first time the date has been changed since 1940. The next conflict with Holy Week is not expected until 2160."
(source: the Catholic New Agency)
This is news to me! Just to be safe and cover your bases, wear green and drink whiskey on both the 15th and the 17th... and the 18th (Sheelah's Day- which you honor by drowning the shamrock in whiskey in honor of Sheelah-Na-Gig).
In the face of my enthusiasm for holidays, I often encounter all types of Negative Nellies who, with their cosmopolitan wisdom, frequently let me know that St. Patrick's Day isn't that big of a deal in Ireland. To them I offer these facts: