St. Patrick’s Day Is a Green Mystery for Many

Posted on March 16, 2011 by


On March 17th, Irish people around the world celebrate the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, by wearing the traditional color of green. The holiday originated in Ireland with a “feast day” commemorating the anniversary of Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick was born somewhere along the west coast of Britain in 385 AD. Around the age of 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. Saint Patrick was able escape from the farm at age 22 and find sanctuary in a monastery, where he stayed for 12 years. In his thirties, he traveled as a Christian missionary to Ireland. He then died in 461 AD.

Student interpretations of the holiday were somewhat varied.

“It’s for leprechauns”, said Jasmine Ohlinger.

“Basically, I don’t do think anything really happens on that day.  We don’t get anything out of it”, commented Sarah Kilgore.

English Teacher Zachary Steven Houp, B.A., M.Ed., said, “I don’t know a lot about the holiday, so it’s insignificant to me.”

Nevertheless, according to the 2003 census, 34 million Americans have some Irish ancestry.

The Irish flag is green, white, and orange. The green represents the south, the orange represents the north, and the white stands for the peace that brings them together as a nation.

Another symbol that many people associate with Saint Patrick’s Day is clovers. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14! An estimate suggested that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.

In legend, four-leaf clovers are considered to be very lucky. It is believed that each of the leaves of a four-leaf clover symbolize something: the first is hope, the second is faith, the third is love, and the fourth is luck.

Saint Patrick’s Day has little to no importance to some Americans, which is understandable considering it is actually a religious holiday.

“I might wear green just because I like special occasions to dress weird,” said English teacher Sarah Wilkinson.

A popular treat that many Americans enjoy is the much-anticipated time of year when Shamrock Shakes are available at McDonald’s. The Shamrock Shake is a green, mint-flavored milkshake.

On Saint Patrick ’s Day, show your Irish pride, and follow Brittany Gantz by “breaking out the green.”

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