Spreading the Luck


Photo By: Unsplash

Gracie Burgess, Staff Writer

Lucky, lucky, lucky! St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that not many know the true purpose of. Many just think it is an Irish holiday that is celebrated by drinking, which for most college students is very exciting in itself!

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1737 declaring it a national holiday. Mach 17 is the day historians believe the Irish Patron Saint, St. Patrick, died – which is why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the 17th of March. Today, we celebrate it by turning everything green! From drinks and candies to rivers and ponds, on the 17th of March, green is everyone’s favorite color.

Just like a younger version of myself, elementary school boys and girls leave a clean and – mostly spotless – classroom on March 16th only to return to the classroom being turned upside down the next day. Overnight, a Leprechaun would sneak into classrooms and homes to add his special touch of mischief. The Leprechauns also tend to visit the homes of young children adding some hints of green to lunch boxes or leaving a pot of chocolate gold at the end of a paper chain rainbow.

Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, a very diverse city, there is a heavy Irish population. Irish heritage even runs through my blood on my dad’s side. Many Irish pubs across the city of Cleveland, and across the country, celebrate the day with dancing, singing, drinking and partying.

St. Patrick’s Day is also associated with wearing the color green. As the tradition goes, those who do not wear green on St. Patrick’s Day get pinched by those around them. My younger sister used to take this tradition so seriously that even if I did not wear green pajamas to bed, I would get pinched!

Many cities, such as Chicago, Illinois also celebrate big for the holiday. While some cities have parades, Chicago takes it a step further by using 40 pounds of green dye to dye the Chicago River for a few hours on the special day. Other cities, such as San Antonio, Texas also dye their popular rivers and lakes green. In San Antonio’s case, it is the tourist attraction known as the River Walk.

St. Patrick’s Day is not only celebrated in Ireland and the United States – it is celebrated all around the world. Even countries that do not have Irish ties, such as Japan, celebrate the holiday in very similar ways to the U.S. Tokyo celebrates this Irish-based holiday for an entire weekend filled with a parade featuring the traditional Irish bagpipes and an “I Love Ireland” Festival. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that the world celebrates to honor St. Patrick and his bringing of Christianity to Ireland centuries ago.

While many will never find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, one can only hope that they will be lucky enough to find some sort of good fortune on this holiday and that St. Patrick himself will bring good luck for the rest of the year.