St. Patrick’s Day is one of the highly anticipated holidays for university students. When I was a Residence Don, people would start discussing in January who was going to be the person to stay in residence while everyone else celebrated. A few years ago, we had our March Break Open House on St. Patrick’s Day and the locations for recruitment events were moved so prospective students saw a limited number of drunk people. Our university is fairly tame when it comes to St. Patrick’s day celebrations compared to other universities, but it is the one day where people celebrate everything about this particular Saint!
St. Patrick was a missionary from England or Scotland who travelled to Ireland during the fifth century. Scholars believe that he converted many pagans to Christianity during his time in Ireland. It is believed that the traditional celebrations of this day are connected with the culture of Ireland.
Shamrocks are a symbol that has long been associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The Christian legend believes that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to the pagans. In the Celtic tradition, the Shamrock was a symbol of the rebirth of spring. In the 17th century when England began taking parts of Ireland’s land, it became an important symbol of Ireland nationalism.
Leprechauns are stem from Celtic tradition. Locbaircin (from ancient Irish which means small-bodied fellow) were believed to be the cranky fairies who mended the shoes of other fairies. The leprechauns that we know today as a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day are based on Walt Disney’s ideas from the 1959 movie Darby O`Gill and the Little People.
St. Patrick`s Day is meant to be a day of celebration (even though pubs in Ireland were not allowed to be opened on this day until the 1970`s). In Ireland, St. Patrick`s Day is primarily a religious holiday which brings up the point of how you celebrate traditional Irish culture without breaking the fast of Lent.
It is taught that St. Patrick`s Day is one extra day that you may break your fast to celebrate St. Patrick and his work. It is like another mini-Easter. Instead of 6 Sundays, we have are allowed 6 Sundays + March 17th (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday – like today).
St. Patrick is an important Saint in the Church and it is only right to celebrate him properly!!
Happy St. Patrick`s Day!!