St. Patrick’s Day Traditions Carry On

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Courtney Hietikko

John Mitchell and Elijah Davis are happy to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Courtney Hietikko, Copy Editor

Some may think that St. Patrick’s Day means wearing green, getting together, and drinking shamrock shakes from McDonald. But why do we do these things? Also, what do they represent and why is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated?

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday originated from Ireland. Yes, some may imagine this as the day that leprechauns wait at the end of rainbows with a pot of gold.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated March 17, and had been started back in 1737. This holiday originated in Ireland, honoring Saint Patrick, an Irish patron. Saint Patrick had died on this day; this is how the Irish honor his life. According to http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com, Saint Patrick was not Irish but, helped the Irish to the religious practice of Christianity and he had done this by preaching to churches all around Ireland. Through his preaching’s, Saint Patrick was able to convert Ireland to Christianity, leading to the religion they practice today. This occurred long before this holiday was passionately celebrated, in AD 400s.

Irish descendants here in America honor Saint Patrick with parades, celebrations and spirit by displaying the color green, whether its clothing or decorations. Shamrocks represented Saint Patrick by showing pride to Christianity. Saint Patrick’s original color was blue as in the order of St. Patrick. The British used the color of Saint Patrick as a different shade than Ireland’s shade, now Ireland has nationally made their color green. Every year this holiday grows bigger and more cultural. Although, St. Patrick’s Day does celebrate the birth of Christianity.

Now, let’s get past the boring facts and to the part you’ve been waiting to hear. Traditionally the Irish Catholic’s celebration is brought together with music, food and drinking. Why, you might ask? Since the Irish are Christians, they believe in the ways they were taught, including the principles of Lent. By which one of them being that drinking and certain foods are restricted. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, Christians fast on this day and on the last day of Lent which is Good Friday. This period of time celebrating Lent is about 40 days. These days represent the 40 days Christ spent in the desert. In honor of holiday, the restrictions of Lent on drinking and eating certain foods are lifted.

Unfortunately and less discussed, there are more drunk drivers on the road throughout this holiday then there are on New Year’s Eve. Over a 5 year time range, 276 people have lost their lives to a drunken driving car crash by 2013. That is 5 celebrations just one day a year.

Today, this issue is more recognized than the purpose of this holiday. St. Patrick’s Day represents more than the celebration itself, it’s also based on the remembrance of the birth of Christianity in Ireland and Saint Patrick himself.