St. Paddy’s Day Evolves Beyond Christian Roots

Posted on March 13, 2015 by


St. Patrick’s Day is on Tuesday, 17 March, this year. It occurs on the death date of the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. He is known for converting Gaelic Irish, mostly Pagans, to Christianity. It was made an official Christian feast day in the seventeenth century.

“St. Paddy’s day is always a good time of the year. My birthday is twelve days later, so I look forward to March every year,” junior Nick Daniels Said.

St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world. Other than Ireland, it is especially celebrated in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. This day is celebrated with parades, festivals, green attire, church services, food, and drink.

“I like St. Paddy’s day because that means it’s Shamrock Shake season at McDonald’s. I don’t like it because Chick-Fil-A feels betrayed that I go there sometimes,” senior Lizzay Faust said.

A big tradition is wearing green or something that has shamrocks on it. St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the Pagan Irish. In Pagan Ireland, three was a significant number. The color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St. Patrick’s Day since the 1680s. However, when the Order of St. Patrick (an Anglo-Irish chivalric order) was founded in 1783, it adopted blue as its color.

“I’m 25% Irish. I enjoy St. Patrick’s Day because I like getting shamrock shakes, and I enjoy wearing the color green, and since I’m so short and I’m Irish, it’s kind of like I’m a leprechaun,” senior Dana Snyder said.

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