Saint Patrick’s Day Festivities

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays. It is celebrated on March 17, which is the feast day of Saint Patrick. Many people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day by going to parades wearing all green, eating the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage, and enjoying Irish drinks.

Sophomore Alyssa Zook said, “My family and I all make corned beef and cabbage. We also eat soda bread and drink ginger ale.”

When Patrick, whom the holiday is named after, was sixteen years old, a group of Irish Raiders came through his village in Britain, and kidnapped him to be sold off as a slave in Ireland.

For six years, he worked as a shepherd, and during those years he was said to surrender his life to God. One night when he was asleep during his sixth year of captivity, he allegedly heard God’s voice telling him that there would be a ship waiting for him on the coast of Ireland.

He was told that he should escape and make his way back home. He made the trip home, but realized that his work was still in Ireland. He dedicated himself to religious work in Ireland, and became a priest.

Not only has St. Patrick’s Day been a big holiday in Ireland but it has also been a huge event in the United States as well.

Major cities each have their own traditions like Chicago. Turning the Chicago River green for Saint Patrick’s Day has been a tradition in Chicago for the past 43 years.

The person who came up with the idea of dying the river 43 years ago was Stephen M. Bailey, a Business Manager of The Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Social Union.

He came up with the idea when a plumber came into his office in white overalls covered in green dye. The plumber had been trying to locate a waste line that was emptying into the Chicago River.

A building near the Chicago River had been told to stop emptying waste into the river. To find the building that was releasing the waste, the plumber poured green dye into various spots of the waste system and checked the river later to see if it had turned green. That was when Stephen M. Bailey came up with the idea of dying the river green annually.

Many people wonder why green is the color of Saint Patrick’s Day. It is said that the original color for Saint Patrick was blue, but during the 17th century, the color changed to green, and eventually became the official color of Ireland.

Along with the color green, shamrocks are the traditional symbol of the holiday. Saint Patrick used it to represent the Trinity, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. The Irish have considered a shamrock to be a good luck symbol since the earliest times, and people all over still consider shamrocks to bring them luck.

Sophomore Kyle Hurt said, “My family and I get together and hunt leprechauns in the woods hoping to find their pots of gold.”

Senior Nick Ruhe said, “My family and I go to Chicago to march in the St. Patty’s Day parade, which is a family tradition we have had for over 30 years.”

A leprechaun is an irish fairy that is dressed in green from head to toe. They are said to be men and women at the size of two feet tall. According to a legend, leprechauns are unfriendly, and they spend their free time making shoes. They can be found by the sound of their shoemaker’s hammer. If the leprechaun is caught, they have to reveal where their pot of gold is hidden, but be careful, because if you look away, they might just get away.

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