The True Tradition of St. Patrick’s Day


Hope Reiman, Staff Writer

You may not recognize the date by itself, but the famous holiday is still celebrated nationwide on March 17th. Though St. Patrick’s day may have started in Ireland, it is celebrated in many other countries, each with their own traditions. The first Patrick’s day celebration dates to the 17th century. Saint Patrick was a patron Saint of Ireland who was first brought to the Emerald Isle after he was kidnapped and enslaved from Britain. He was said to have escaped back to Britain but came back to Ireland later and spread Christianity throughout the country. We celebrate him on March 17th because that was the day he passed; the day was meant for Irish and Irish Americans to celebrate their heritage.  

So the question is, how did we go from celebrating a religious figure with parades followed by mass, to wearing green and going to parades with no religious affiliation? Different stories and traditions are bound to spread when the holiday has been celebrated for so long. St. Patrick was actually famous for wearing blue, but when the Irish Americans would celebrate they would wear green to symbolize their national pride. Another tradition that changed when the Irish immigrated to America was the food they ate on the holiday. In Ireland it’s popular to celebrate with a family dinner of bacon and cabbage, but the Irish Americans celebrate with corned beef and cabbage. A lot of the ways we celebrate here in America are just Irish stereotypes, with the leprechauns, Shamrocks, and of course, the drinking. What’s interesting is that those are all just American traditions for St. Patricks day, when in Ireland, its national holiday that is celebrated with days off and family dinners.  

Now that you know the history, maybe we can all appreciate the holiday a little more, just don’t forget to wear green!