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The history of St. Patricks Day

by SASHA RISKO Staff Writer

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world by both the Irish and non-Irish every year on March 17 as a celebration of Christianity and Irish heritage.

The feast day of Saint Patrick symbolizes the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the culture of Irish people.

What most people do not know is that Saint Patrick is not really Irish. He was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, and kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave.

He eventually fled from captivity and returned to Britain to join the Church in Auxerre to study to be priest.

In 432 A.D., Saint Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop to convert the polytheists to Christianity. Legend says that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to them.

He died on March 17, 461 A.D. after almost 30 years of being an evangelist.

Saint Patrick’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, is observed by the Irish, people of Irish descent, the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church.

Most people usually attend a mass or service annually on March 17. It was officially made a feast day in the early 1700s.

There are many ways we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, including attending parades, wearing green, drinking Irish beer and whiskey, and donning shamrocks on our clothes and accessories.

“My dad’s side of the family is Irish, so we typically all get together on Saint Patrick’s Day to celebrate. It’s something I look forward to every year!” said junior Alexandria Quigley.

Originally, the color blue was associated with Saint Patrick, but over the years the color green grew in popularity due to St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock.

In a 1798 rebellion, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on March 17 to make a political statement.

Dublin, Ireland holds a Saint Patrick’s Day festival every year. It was first held on March 17, 1996 and was originally a three-day event. By 2006, it was five days long and in 2009, it saw close to one million visitors.

There are many festivities taking place at the festival, ranging from concerts to fireworks.

“I’d really love to go to Dublin one year for Saint Patrick’s Day, even though I’m not Irish at all. It seems like it’d be a really awesome experience!” said freshman Ilene Joy.

There is a wide range of Irish food and drinks available, ranging from corned beef and cabbage to Irish soda bread, and the world famous Irish beer and whiskey.

In the United States, Saint Patrick’s Day is not a bank holiday, meaning schools and offices are still open, but it is widely celebrated and recognized throughout the country.

Even fast food restaurants like McDonald’s participate in the holiday. In 1970, the fast food chain introduced an icy beverage that is only available during March called the Shamrock Shake. It is a minty milkshake that is the perfect shade of green.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a fun, shamrock-filled holiday enjoyed by both the Irish and non-Irish people of the world.

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