March’s most famous holiday has rich history

Ella McGuire, Sports Editor

When we think of St. Patrick’s Day, we think of the color green, shamrocks, Lucky Charms, and the famous Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. However, this holiday goes deeper than the commercialized goods.

The March 17 holiday began in 1631 in Ireland. The celebration began with the Church when a Feast Day was made to honor St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland. He was born Maewyn Succat which was later changed to “Patricius.” St. Patrick was born in the late fourth century in Roman Britain. When he was just 16 years old, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland. He eventually escaped and converted to Christianity. Once he converted, he became a priest.
Before his death on March 17, 461, he established many schools and churches. There have been many legends told about St. Patrick. For example, he used shamrocks to explain the Trinity. Like all saints in the very early centuries, he was assigned a botanical item. He was given a shamrock for the way he taught. This is why shamrocks are such an important symbol of this holiday.
In the 1700s, many new traditions were brought up on how to celebrate the Saint. 1762, in New York City, the very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place. In 1798, the Irish Rebellion began. The color of St. Patrick’s Day used to be blue, not green. Blue was featured everywhere like in the royal courts and even on the Irish flag. However, during the Irish Rebellion, the Irish chose green as the new color.
The 20th century was when this holiday took a more commercialized turn. Green-colored food and drinks, parades, and the Irish customized foods were commercialized through America.
In Dublin, over half a million people flood the streets to celebrate this very personal holiday. All ages flock to the four-day event that includes music, performances, scavenger/treasure hunts, and a two-hour parade.
Although celebrating by drinking a Shamrock Shake is fun, we should take time this St. Patrick’s Day to reminisce on the true meaning behind it.