Everything you ever wanted to know about St. Patrick’s Day

The history of the holiday and how it’s celebrated today


Shaloni Pinto '16

The feast day is commonly associated with the color green

Sydney Missigman, Writer

You wouldn’t be wrong if you associated St. Patrick’s Day with Ireland.  However, did you know he was actually born in Great Britain? According to Catholic Online, he was raised in the Roman Empire of Britain and was brought to Ireland as a teenager to be a slave. He was a faithful Christian and trusted in God to save him. He eventually was able to escape and be reconnected with his family.  Patrick decided to join the priesthood and was ordained in the early 400s. He was sent back to Ireland to spread Christianity and proclaim the good news of the Lord. Patrick’s time in Ireland brought the Christian faith to the Irish people, and today many people in Ireland leads Christ-centered lives. One of St. Patrick’s most famous stories is his interpretation of the Trinity as a three-leaf clover. He described the leaf as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Irish people fell in love with him and celebrate his feast day, March 17, enthusiastically.  

Today, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in memory of a humble, generous and hard-working man. St. Paddy’s Day is a nationally celebrated holiday, and people host a variety of activities to commemorate this saint. According to History.com, families in Ireland traditionally attend a mass in the morning and hold parties in the afternoon. In most parishes today there is a mass honoring St. Patrick, which anyone can attend. Since the time of Patrick, though, the holiday has developed a variety of activities and rituals. There are thousands of parades held across the globe exhibiting the life of St. Patrick and his successes. In Ireland, there are festivities held all week in his honor and include everything from concerts to parades. People travel from all over the world to partake in these amazing events.

However, if traveling to Dublin is not in your plans, there will be hundreds of festivities in the Phoenix area alone. AZCentral describes the Irish bands at Tempe Beach Park, tours of the Irish Cultural Center and parades throughout the Valley. A big parade in Arizona is the “St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Family Faire” in Phoenix. As described on its website, this particular parade includes bagpipes, dancing and traditional Irish meals as just part of the fun.  There are also many restaurants offering special deals and foods of Ireland. With so many events happening in town, it may be hard choosing how to spend your day. Whether you want to rock out to some Irish music in a crowd or alone in your bedroom, let us remember that St. Patrick is the reason we celebrate this holiday.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!