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The real history of St. Patrick’s Day

By Sofi Zeman, Co-Features Editor

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Once a year on March 17, millions of people nationwide fill the local pubs of America, wearing various shades of green embellished with shamrocks, reciting phrases such as “Top of the mornin’ to ya,” in poorly executed Irish accents. For many, this is St. Patrick’s Day.

     While many spend their day pinching anyone in sight that dare defy the all-green dress code of this holiday, a vast majority doesn’t even know what they’re celebrating.

     When asked, multiple students at Belvidere North didn’t quite know how to explain what St. Patrick’s Day was about or even who St. Patrick was.

     “ I didn’t really know what St. Patrick’s day was about until you told me. I just knew it had to do with Ireland and that everyone wore green,” said Bonnie Konopka (‘19).

      Many thought that the day revolved around the culture of Ireland. While this isn’t unnecessarily untrue, St. Patrick’s day doesn’t directly date back to Ireland.

     It all goes back to fifth century Ireland. St. Patrick was the son of a Scottish (not Irish) deacon. He spent his time going across Ireland, converting those of other religions to Christianity and building churches. It is rumored that he also performed miracles. The significance of the shamrock comes from the idea that St. Patrick used it to explain aspects of the Holy Trinity. After his time as a Christian missionary, St. Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland.The title, however, was not given to him by the church, but by the people of Ireland.  He died on March 17, resulting in the date becoming his religious feast day.

     “It was really interesting to learn about what St. Patrick’s Day was actually about. I didn’t even realize it was a real holiday,” said Isaah Hopson (‘18).  

    Branching off of its religious origins, the holiday soon became a worldwide celebration of Irish culture. Today, many keep their Irish roots in mind as they celebrate this holiday. Since then, it has evolved to become the St. Paddy’s day we all know and celebrate today.

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The real history of St. Patrick’s Day