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The holiday is observed in a special way on the Emerald Isle, the birthplace of all St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Not only is is a public or "bank" holiday, but this day is a Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland. The week surrounding St. Paddy's is called "Irish Language Week" and is set aside to honor Irish heritage. Although there are plenty of parades, festivals, and parties throughout the country, there is an emphasis on the solemn and spiritual side of the day, especially as Christian leaders have encouraged the Irish to "reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival."

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