What is St. Patrick’s Day?

John Sengstock, Staff Writer

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It’s been another successful St. Patrick’s day this year! With all of the shamrocks, leprechauns, and “going green,” it makes you wonder: what exactly IS St. Patrick’s day about?

St. Patrick’s day is the celebration of Saint Patrick, a Britain who turned Christian after being kidnaped by Ireland invaders. Once he converted to Christianity, Saint Patrick became dedicated to spreading the word of Christ to others. He is the primary reason for converting the majority of Irish people from Paganism to Christianity and why it’s so prevalent to the nation of Ireland today (hence why the Vatican exists). From what is told, Patrick lived from 385-461 AD and is said to have been buried in Downpatrick, Ireland. Over the following centuries, multiple legends sprouted up around St. Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.

For the longest time, St. Patrick’s day was only celebrated with a feast because it took place during the season of Lent: a time used to sacrifice for God. But in recent centuries, starting around the 

1700’s, people have warmed up to the idea of celebrating during a religious season. They do this by decorating and wearing green colored clothing, which is symbolic of the shamrock (despite the fact that prior to the 1700s, the color blue was used to represent St. Patrick). Shamrocks are depicted as the tool St. Patrick himself used to explain the Holy Trinity. Over time, St. Patrick’s day became more and more popular in America, thanks to the mass immigration of Irish folk over the years.

 

So that’s the rundown on the history of St. Patrick’s day for you all! The next time St. Patty’s day rolls around, make sure to dress your greenest, do a nifty jig, and have a good time!

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