When March 17 rolls around every year, American consumers are struck with images of green clovers and leprechauns to commemorate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. But for the average American person, the holiday is a reason to break out the beer helmets and throw a wild party. In 1995, even the Irish government began a national campaign to use the holiday as “.an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world,” stated The History Channel.
Before 1995, the Irish had observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years. Interestingly, St. Patrick’s Day falls during the Christian season of Lent.
“Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast-on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage,” stated The History Channel.
For those of us, who believe that recent St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have lost sight of the traditional Irish ones-think again. St. Patrick’s Day has always been a gluttonous holiday, even in Ireland.
Today, people of all backgrounds, even those around the world, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Professors and students on the Castleton State College campus shared their memories and plans for this coming St. Patrick’s Day.
“.St. Patrick’s Day was just an excuse to have a party,” said Professor John Gillen, reflecting back on his college days. “College students could drink legally then.”
However, not all college students partied back in the day.
“I was at Boston University in the late 1960’s. Campus was dominated by the politics of the time, so not much partying,” said Professor Thomas Conroy.
But Conroy remembers, “Not too far off campus.the Irish ethnic neighborhoods had all sorts of events,” he said.
Gillen also recounts many of his family’s more traditional ways of celebrating the holiday.
“My father was Irish, so every St. Patrick’s Day, we had corned beef and cabbage. My sister still makes it to celebrate. I could never stand it. My brother-in-law, Richard Quinn, has a huge party on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate all things Irish as well as the end of winter. He invites family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, and the party goes on and on and on,” he said.
Castleton students are also thinking about their plans for St. Patrick’s Day, which is less than a week away.
“I’m going to Flub’s. Z97 is going to be there from 10 p.m to 4 a.m. It’s supposed to be a big party,” Shayna Rogers, freshman, said.
The nine out of 10 students asked are still not positive about their plans but said they most likely will be hanging out with friends.
“I’m usually the type that tries to do something but with waitressing it’s kind of hard because restaurants are always open. I usually try to get with friends and hang out-have a social gathering,” Nicole Zobel, senior, said.
Wherever the students find themselves on St. Patrick’s Day, there’s a consensus that they will be celebrating with all things colored by shamrock green.