By Nicole King & Hannah Butera
When we think of Saint Patrick’s Day, we think of leprechauns, the color green, four-leaf clovers, and getting pinched. When we asked Senior, Maria Twigg, who comes from an Irish family, about her family's St. Patrick's Day traditions, she explained “Ever since I was little, my mom has hidden green, clover shaped notes around the house with little clues that lead us to the ‘pot of gold.’ When we followed the clues to the right location, there was a path of glitter that lead to a pot of chocolate gold coins”. We associate St. Patrick's Day with so many different trademarks, but do we really know where they originated?
Every year on March 17th, we gather as a nation to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. This holiday is a global celebration of all of those in the world with Irish heritage. In the 1700s, Irish immigrants in New York City started the first St. Patrick's day parade. Today, thousands gather throughout the streets of the United States, such as New York City, to dance, feast, sing, and cherish the Irish culture. The name originates from the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. After going through six years of brutal slavery, he turned to God to be his savior. Through prayers he became a leader of his local church which lead him to follow his love for God and spread Christianity to Ireland. When he died on March 17th in A.D. 461, his church wanted to celebrate his impact. His courageous and holy effect on this world is why we commemorate the Irish culture.
Before St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, the Irish people believed that the kings and queens were descendents of gods called “Tuatha De Danann”, which took the form of fairies on Earth. Leprechauns were the tallest, dressed in red coats, and they were known for their mischievous behavior, tricking people, and collecting gold. A popular belief is that as Christianity continued to spread, the image of Leprechauns became a small, cartoonish symbol to be less scary to children. Believe it or not, blue was once the color associated with the holiday of St. Patrick's Day. However, as green is one of the colors in Ireland’s tricolored flag, and Ireland is known as “Emerald Isle” for its green landscape, green became the color associated with the holiday. Lastly, the shamrock is an important symbol for St. Patrick's Day since it illustrates the Holy Trinity. This is the concept that God is three in one: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Many believe that the shamrock is the key to good luck.
Senior, Emma Buch, is fortunate enough to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with her family. She said, “My family does not hold back in showing their green spirit; my mom colors all of our food green and gets us accessories to show off some Irish spirit”. This is just one of the ways a Glenelg family expresses their holiday spirit. Whether you are Irish or not, it is highly encouraged to show off your green and be thankful for everything Saint Patrick did for our nation.