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http://balconytv.com 17/03/2008 COMMENTRY BY STEPHEN O' REGAN, TOM MILLETT and HUGO O' REGAN Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá 'le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially Paddy's Day or St. Patty's Day, is the feast day which annually celebrates Saint Patrick (373-493), the patron saint of Ireland, on March 17. It is the Irish national holiday and one of the public holidays in the Republic of Ireland (a bank holiday in Northern Ireland); the overseas territory of Montserrat; and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the United States, Australia, and rest of Canada it is widely celebrated, although not an official holiday. It became a feast day in the universal church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary  in the early part of the 17th century. A common practice among gardeners is to plant at least one potato, no matter how cold the weather, on St. Patrick's Day. This is done in order to ensure a good harvest for the coming year. Some speculate that this may have arisen from the Irish Potato Famine.