Shamrocks and candy; St. Patty’s Day is here

By Brian Smith
March 16, 2006

Brian Coary

St. Patrick’s Day is here, and Cabrini students are finding many different ways to celebrate. While this holiday, and maybe this is a stereotype, is most famous for drinking and the color green, there is obviously more to it than that.

The person this day is named after, St. Patrick, was born a pagan named Maewyn, who at the age of 16 was sold into slavery in Ireland. He spent six years working as a shepherd and studied religion, and then he escaped and studied for 12 years under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre. Maewyn adopted the name of St. Patrick and became famous for converting a large number of pagans in Ireland to Christianity. He died on March 17.

It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity in his conversions, which is responsible for the shamrock being an icon of this day. There is also some folklore describing St. Patrick as being able to raise the dead and give a sermon that drove the snakes out of Ireland.

Like every holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is unique to itself. Most famous is its tradition for heavy drinking, and many Cabrini students acknowledge this.

“I know there’s a lot of drinking involved,” Rizwan Ishmail, a freshman liberal arts major, said.

In fact, some believe that a certain amount of drinking is required. “[On drinking] To a certain extent, you don’t want to make it a bad St. Patrick’s Day,” freshman Joe Sperdutr said.

There are other traditions though; many students like to eat corn beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.

“I usually spend it with my family, normally eating corn beef and cabbage. Maybe my friends will go out and celebrate,” Bridget Flynn, a freshman education major, said.

While many of us must know about the St. Patrick’s Day parades held in New York, Ireland, Philadelphia and many other areas, many cities also color their town green. Some cities in the U.S. color the traffic stripes on parade routes green. Chicago annually dyes its rivers green. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday akin to Easter and Christmas.

Many Americans are known to travel to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day to join the festivities. Jane Chico, a freshman, is in fact going to Ireland for the holiday.

For those who don’t have any plans for this St. Patrick’s Day, remember that you don’t need a reason to celebrate.

“I usually meet up with friends,” Drew Gibbs, a freshman business major, said. “There’s always a party on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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