Taking out the saint from St. Patrick’s Day


Photo by Mayeli Vivaldo

In Ireland and other European countries, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the priest St. Patrick versus the United States, which celebrates Irish paraphernalia.

By Mayeli Vivaldo , Perspectives/Lifestyles Editor

St. Patrick’s Day in America is a celebration of alcohol, the color green, and awful Irish accents. Is that really a proper celebration?

According to Time, the holiday was created in 1631 to celebrate the priest St. Patrick who, according to legend, had a lot of luck converting pagans to Christianity in Ireland.

The holiday was originally celebrated with Feast Day on March 17, in honor of the saint.

Nowadays in Ireland, people gather at church to attend mass. Most businesses and stores close since, in Ireland, it is celebrated as a religious holiday. After mass, everyone attends the many festivals created in honor of St. Patrick.

To the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated like how Americans celebrate Good Friday.

So then, if St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish religious holiday, why do Americans celebrate it at all?

According to Ask History, the holiday was brought over by Irish immigrants. Eventually, evolving from a religious holiday to simply a stereotypical celebration of all Irish paraphernalia.

Many Americans who take part in this holiday are not even fully aware of the background and history.

It’s the same case with Cinco de Mayo.

Nobody really knows or cares about the actual meaning of the holiday; they just want to get drunk.

People take advantage of St. Patrick’s Day and ruin its meaning by getting excessively intoxicated.

According to ABC7’s data collected from 2009 to 2013, there were 276 drunk driving related casualties on St. Patrick’s Day and 75 percent of drunk drivers on that day went two times over the legal limit.

That’s horrible.

We’re besmirching, not only the holiday and religious beliefs of the Irish but the Irish themselves.

People mock and ridicule the Irish with their terrible attempts at trying to impersonate them. How is that at all praising or celebrating the Irish culture?

It’s accomplishing the complete opposite.

We have a bad habit of taking out the actual meaning and value of every single holiday, including our own. Christmas in the United States, for example, is no longer about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, it’s about how expensive the gift you receive is.

So, for the upcoming holidays, take a moment to truly recognize and honor the meaning of the holiday.