The Meaning Behind St. Patrick’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day has been around since the 10th century and originated in Ireland. But unlike the traditions that we have today, like leprechauns and four-leaf clovers, the origins of the old St Patrick’s day started when people had a feast to commemorate St. Patrick– the patron Saint of Ireland.

Who is St. Patrick? No, he is not a leprechaun that wanted to find gold at the end of a rainbow. Many people know of the holiday, but do not know the story of St. Patrick. Well, St. Patrick was born in the late 4th century in Roman Britan. When he was 16 he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland. He escaped enslavement but later in his life returned back to Ireland to try and convert the Irish to Christianity. He passed away on March 17, 461 CE which is why many chose that day to have the feast of St. Patrick. An interesting fact is green was not the color traditionally associated with St. Patrick’s Day, it was blue!

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all around America, but it is more celebrated in places with a higher population of people of Irish descent. Many cities throw parades each year. The first on record was in 1737 in Boston. Boston’s parade was followed by a Parade in New York City in 1762. These parades are still alive and well and many people flock to these cities to witness the activities and theatrics that happen yearly. Many other cities and towns have smaller celebrations but one of the most notable is how Chicago dyes its river green to mark the holiday.

The traditions on St. Patrick’s Day vary to which region you are in. Most commonly, you wear green and eat chocolate gold coins. In a survey sent out to the Becton Regional, sophomore Rose Padovano shared her tradition, “I usually wear green to celebrate and pinch the people who don’t. That’s what you do! It has always been a tradition in Maywood.” Another fun fact is that the reason people say the traditional statement of “luck of the Irish” is because Irish immigrants struck gold during the gold rush!

Although dressing up in green is fun, if you want to take it one step further, you can attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City on Friday, March 17th! Everyone comes together to watch the floats strut across the city streets, the traditional playing of the bagpipes and you can get basically any food you want in the color green. At Becton, make sure to show school spirit by wearing green on Friday the 17th!