Saint Patrick’s Day

Madison Shuey, Reporter

Shamrocks, leprechauns, celebrating, and the Irish. All of these make for one fun Saint Patrick’s day. However, what is the real reason for celebrating this holiday?

Saint Patrick’s Day started with St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland. In the fourth century St.Patrick at the age of sixteen was taken to Ireland as a slave. After escaping, years later he returned to try and convert the Irish from Celtic Paganism to Christianity. St. Patrick succeeded by establishing churches, schools, and monasteries. On March 17, 461 St.Patrick passed away and his death date became a day of religious celebration and feasts.

The Christians in Ireland celebrate this day by attending Church. They wear their best clothes with a shamrock pin on their chest. The pins are blessed all over Ireland and are known as the Blessing of the Shamrock. The most popular meal on Saint Patrick’s day in Ireland is a large roast dinner. Other ways the Irish celebrate the holiday includes watching the parade in Dublin that started in 1995. Participating in the Harbour-2-Harbour Walk for charity which includes a 16 mile walk around the coastline with music and food in the middle. Another tradition on Saint Patrick’s day is visiting the former home of St. Patrick.
Ireland adapted the big celebrations of parades from the United States, where huge parades are held in major cities including Kansas City. The parades in Ireland are mostly for tourism purposes due to the large crowds that make their way to Dublin during the holiday.

Brought to America by immigrants, Saint Patrick’s Day became a large celebration of the Irish. Starting in 1737, Boston held the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade. From there major cities held their own parades including New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, and many others. Since 1962, Chicago has turned their river green in support of the holiday. The most common way to celebrate is embracing the color green by wearing all green and having green food and drinks. Other ways Americans celebrate include doing Irish traditions such as music, dance, and food. Many spend the day out on the town or with friends and family.