Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday celebrated by thousands of people around the world,on March 17, has become famous for late night drinking, dancing, cultural parades, special foods, music and a whole lot of green; however, the origins of the holiday’s meaning dates back much farther than the world’s current interpretation of it.
The holiday and culture of Ireland is celebrated in Dublin, OH, in July every year at the Dublin Irish Festival.
“We have approximately 100,000 people come every year. This year will be our 33rd Dublin Irish Festival,” Dublin Irish Festival Events Coordinator, Cathy Witchey said.
The holiday is based around a well-known saint, and it is a Christian holiday celebrated in the middle of the Lent season.
St. Patrick’s Day observes the death of Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick, patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, is credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons in the fifth century, according to Historychannel.com.
Patrick was born in Britain of a Romanized family. At age 16 he was torn by Irish raiders from the villa of his father, Calpurnius, a deacon and local official, and carried into slavery in Ireland. He spent six bleak years there as a herdsman, during which he turned to his faith. Upon dreaming that the ship in which he was to escape was ready, he fled his master and found a passage to Britain. There he came near to starvation and suffered a second brief captivity before he was reunited with his family, according to Historychannel.com.
Patrick converted thousands of people to Christianity and preached for over 40 years. He died on March 17, 460 AD which created the date for the international holiday.
Traditionally, on St. Patrick’s Day, families attend church in the morning and observe other rituals including eating a traditional meal of cabbage and Irish bacon. The holiday has expanded into the secular world as well, becoming a robust international celebration of Irish culture and heritage.
“The Irish dancers show dedication and precision into just one dance when I see them on St. Patrick’s Day, it is crazy,” Ella Schwertfager ‘22 said.
Another celebratory event that people attend each year is the various amounts of St. Patrick’s Day parades. On Saturday, March 14, the City of Dublin puts on a parade. That morning, parade-goers can enjoy the Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast at Sells Middle School from 7-11. Then, the parade will go right past the school.
St. Patrick’s Day may be a religious holiday at its roots, but it is also a great excuse to wear green and celebrate with parades, cultural dishes and dancing.