From the Emerald Isle to America: the story of St. Patrick’s Day


Credit: Ethan Wu

Katy Zhang, Editor-in-chief

St.Patrick’s Day is an Irish celebration that has lasted for 1000 years. This year, people from all around the US celebrated this Irish holiday not only because of its religious significance but also its significance in representing Irish pride

This holiday was first celebrated in recognition of the man named St.Patrick who is known as the patron saint that brought Chritianity to Ireland  during the 5th century. Ever since then, families in Ireland have celebrated this festival by going to church while consuming traditional Irish bacon and cabbage. However, the popularity of St.Patrick’s Day reached another level when Irish immigrants arrived in the US. The first recorded St.Patrick’s day parade took place on March 17,1601 at present day St.Augustine, Florida organized by Irish vicar Ricardo Artur. This traditional parade in America also healed the boredom of soldiers serving in the English military as they also marched in New York in 1772 to honor the patron saint. From this point on, the enthusiasm of St.Patrick has truly spread to the general public regardless of their religious belief. 

Some of the traditions of St.Patrick’s Day today were not first mentioned in the original version of the celebration, instead it is more related to Irish culture. Take the infamous creature Leprechaun for example. Though they do not have direct relations with the saint himself, they are a symbol of Irish culture. Known as solitary creatures that are incredibly agile, they often guide pots of gold and are a source of mischief. One way to prevent the pranks of Leprechaun was to wear green since it will prevent you from being seen by those creatures. A fun fact regarding the color of Leprechaun related to Ireland pride since Leprechaun were supposed to be red, however as Leprechaun became increasingly international, the Irish people decided to change it to green to represent their country. 

In conclusion, Irish immigrants have always played an important part in the development of American culture ever since their arrival during colonial times. Though many of them suffered great poverty and discrimination from the general public, it is more than ever important to represent their culture in the celebration of American culture. St.Patrick’s Day is not only a representation of Irish pride and identity but also a recognition of connection between the Emerald Isle and the US.