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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick 1
St. Patrick, the namesake of this holiday, is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

For Gilmour students, a highlight in March is St. Patrick’s Day. Around the world, St. Patrick’s Day is a day in which people celebrate and wear green. Christians and non-Christians, Irish and non-Irish alike commemorate the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland.

St. Patrick lived in the fifth century and was actually born in Great Britain. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped, but later returned to Ireland, bringing Christianity with him. He is most famous for the legend which says that he taught about the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit using a four leaf clover. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 each year in memory of his death in the 1400s. The Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day for over 1,000 years. They would go to Mass and then would celebrate by dancing, drinking, and eating. The Lenten prohibitions on eating certain foods and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day.

St. Patrick’s day is celebrated around the world.

History

The biggest celebrations are in Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Australia, but the holiday is also celebrated in countries far from Ireland, such as Japan, Singapore, and Russia.

shamrock
According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.

Surprisingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the United States, not in Ireland. Today, more than 100 parades occur on this day in the United States. New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States. The five hour long parade includes over 150,000 participants and three million people gather to watch. Chicago also has an interesting St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Every year. the Chicago River is dyed green, a tradition that began in 1962. Every year 40 pounds of green dye are dumped into the river and the water turns green for several hours.

 

Celebration in Gilmour

Students at Gilmour celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in different ways. They were excited that St. Patrick’s Day was on a Saturday this year because according to Maggie Schmidt (`12) “it’s hard to celebrate on days when we have school.” Schmidt (`12) spent the day with friends. Jena Snelling (`14) says, “This year my family was out of town for volleyball, but normally we go out to dinner at my grandpa’s restaurant, Station 54. I wouldn’t consider it Irish, but it’s a tavern and they have Irish food and have a countdown to St. Patrick’s Day.” Snelling (`14) says, “St. Patrick’s Day is not a big deal for my family, we just use it as a day to spend time with each other.”

 It is probably the biggest holiday for my family. We spend all year planning our St. Patrick’s Day party. Erin Abdalian (`12)

Every year, her family and friends stay in hotel rooms to watch the parade. Erin has Irish Danced in the parade for years, but this year she didn’t march because “it is my last year for it, so I spent it with my friends and family in the hotel rooms.”

Calla Telzrow (`12) says, “I don’t usually do much more than wear green stuff to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but this year since it’s on a Saturday, I’m going to the parade, which I’ve never done before.” She says, “I feel like I don’t have any connection with St. Patrick’s Day even though I am Irish, but I think any holiday is fun in its own way. It just provides a fun little distraction from everyday life.”

Gilmour students have mixed feelings about St. Patrick’s Day. Maddie Kosar (`12) says, “I don’t really consider it that big of a holiday, but I know a lot of people in Cleveland do. It just isn’t a big deal to my family so I don’t think much of it.” Phil Ingram (`12) agrees, saying, “I’ve done nothing for St. Patrick’s Day for the past few years. I used to go downtown but it got too crazy for me. I didn’t do anything special this year.” Other students really enjoy the holiday. Schmidt (`12) says, “I think it is a really fun day! I have always loved St. Patrick’s Day.” Abdalian (`12) says, “I love St. Patrick’s Day. It has always been the most fun holiday for me because I get to dance and spend time with my family and friends.” Regardless of their feelings on St. Patrick’s Day, Gilmour students enjoyed a day to celebrate and wear green.