Jolly Green Day

St. Patrick’s Day 

Lucine La Porta, Staff Writer

Holidays. The ones that pop into our heads are then ones that correspond with a break. We have Christmas and Easter, Thanksgiving and New Year, then there is that one random day in March. St. Patrick’s Day. Originating in Ireland to celebrate the death of St. Patrick, it is now celebrated across the United States. 

History

St. Patrick’s Day is the commemoration of the death of the saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Taking place on March 17th it is now celebrated around the world. The first parade took place on March 17th  in New York City. Across the US more than 100 parades take place to celebrate St. Patrick, the biggest ones being in Boston and New York. According to the census most Irish people are living in the northeastern part of the US, with the highest numbers in Boston and Maryland. In New York more than 25,000 people walk up 5th Ave from 44th to 86th street, there are no floats or automobiles allowed just a bunch of people wearing green. But the Irish like to get green chrysanthemums for the parades. Much like New York, Boston also has a parade; the only difference is that they can have decorated floats.  

 Traditions

The classic Irish symbol is the shamrock. A shamrock is a low growing clover. This plant is sacred to the Irish because it symbolizes the rebirth of spring. In fact, according to history, when the English invaded Ireland the Irish wore shamrocks to express their disapproval of the English rule. There are 7 places in the U.S. named after the Irish shamrock including Shamrock, Oklahoma; Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; Shamrock, Texas; and Mount-Gay Shamrock. Traditionally the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day is blue, but over time the color changed to green.  

Belief in leprechauns comes from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their treasure. These little people who were once construed as cranky are now one of the biggest parts of St. Patrick’s day. Toady, leprechauns are part of our everyday life, the most recognizable one in popular culture is Lucky the Leprechaun, the mascot of the General Mills breakfast cereal Lucky Charms.