St Patrick's evening

 Since March 2005 l'Entente Cordiale organises a "St Patrick's evening".  Although the saint if rather associated with the image of  Ireland (St Patrick is National Day in Ireland), St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in many communities across the world, especially in England and United States. Our 2019 event will take place on Saturday 16th of March at the Town Community Centre.

The 2018 event was held on Saturday 10th in the Community Centre, Orsonville Street. Over 170 people were present: Regular guests, of course, that we are delighted to see again almost each year, but also new faces, attracted by the reputation of our event or our communication (posters, town information, Website, etc...).

A great thank to the volunteers who have worked hard to decorate and set-up the room. This year, the artists focused on the Irish legends, of which the famous "Leprechaun", well known feature of the local folklore.

Mrs Maryvonne BOCQUET, mayor of Dourdan was not able to be with us, but, nonetheless, managed to welcome the participants at the begening of the evening.



The Leprechaun welcome our guests

The very much appreciated food was again provided by restaurant "La Fleur de Sel" in Dourdan. A greater choice of beers was offered to the amateurs: Guinness, of course, but also Boddington (English bitter draught) and Abbott Ale (Irish Ale).

For the musical part, the Clonakilty Folk Music Group was again present. We noticed that tho new talented musicians (Cecil, harpist and  and Muriel, flautist) had joined the band. Caroline, the stepdancer demonstrated her great skill.

Patrick, the Group Leader, later switched to Caller, so as to conduct the numerous floor dancers. At a break, a tombola provided few lucky winners with some Irish traditional presents.

Round dance

See more photographs of this successful evening the page "Photogallery"

History and legend

St Patrick is supposed to be born in 389 in Scotland or in the South-West of England (exact place and date aren't precisely known).

His family name was Maewin Succat, and his family was of Roman Britain origin. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland. During his slavery time (six years) he had visions and got closer to God.

In 411 he managed to escape and came to France (Gaul) for studying. He was promoted to priesthood and in  432 he was made a bishop by Pope Celestine and sent to Ireland as missionary. It was during that occasion that the name "Patercius" or "Patritius" was given to him. The name comes from two Latin words, "pater civium" meaning "the father of his people" . In gaelic language Patrick is named : Pădraig.

A legend says that, by this time, he drew out all the snakes from the country, action that symbolizes the conversion of the Irish Folk : The snakes represent the Devil, the old enemy Satan responsible for  ignorance of the real God.                 

Another legend has it that St. Patrick would use the shamrock to explain the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick on the 17 March, 461, at the age of 76. He is believed to be buried in Downpatrick besides Saint Brigid of Kildare and Saint Columcille, both patrons saints of Ireland.