Students give interesting insight on St. Patrick’s Day traditions

Freshman Michael Rooney

Submitted Photo
Seven years ago, Rooney went to the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade as per tradition. He encourages his peers to wear green and reinsures that you don’t have to be Irish in order to celebrate the holiday.

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day marks the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. There’s a long story about how he originally arrived in Ireland, but it’s one I’m not too familiar with so I won’t attempt to tell it.

Are any of your family members Irish?

My dad is Irish, along with his parents and their parents. He’s pretty much pure Irish.

What does this holiday mean to you?

Nowadays, Saint Patrick’s Day has become less of a religious holiday and more of a display of Irish patriotism, so I’m more than happy to deck myself in green and parade about it!

What are some common misconceptions about St. Patrick’s Day?

Most people have heard the story of Saint Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland. However, it’s been proven that snakes most likely never existed in Ireland – and still don’t – so there weren’t any for him to drive out. Still, it’s a popular story and one people love to tell.

How do you think misconceptions about the holiday came about?

In terms of being pinched if you are not wearing green, that is an entirely American tradition. A long time ago, some American St. Patty’s Day enthusiasts believed that wearing green would make one invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns are already invisible to people and are mischievous creatures, they were said to pinch those who did not wear green. Eventually, people kind of began to do it for that reason.

As for the pot of gold, I’m really not sure how thought originated. I do know that leprechauns are a type of fairy in Irish tales, not your stereotypical fairy, who are shoemakers. It is said they hide a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

As with any good storyteller, the Irish love to exaggerate. It’s no surprise that there are countless stories about Saint Patrick, even if so little is really known about him. Addition

ally, I’m sure many have been told by word-of-mouth, so as they been passed on, the stories may have been altered slightly. But hey, you never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

If you do, how do you celebrate the holiday? Do you have any memorable moments?

Nothing too special. When we lived in Ireland, we’d usually have the whole family over for dinner. In New York, there’s the famous St. Patrick’s Day parade and we’d always go to that. Today, we always dress up in green and enjoy a typical Irish meal, usually shepherd’s pie and brown soda bread.

Is there anything else you would like to add that the readers should know?

Nope, just make sure to wear green and celebrate Saint Patty’s day: you don’t have to be Irish!

Junior Kendall Fahey

PHOTO: Allison Li
Junior Kendall Fahey holds up a picture of her family’s coat of arms that can find in Ireland. Fahey said that although she doesn’t celebrate the holiday as much as she used to, she still looks forward to it.

Are any of your family members Irish?

My mom is adopted so we don’t quite know about her ancestry but my dad’s side of the family is pretty much Irish. If you go to a little town in Ireland, I don’t know the exact name of it, but you’ll find a little chapel with our family name in it. Our family name was originally spelled “Fahy” and we even have a little coat of arms.

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

I used to a lot when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten more busy, it’s been kind of hard. I do have a lot of clear memories of wearing green and dyeing my milk green when I was a kid. I remember in kindergarten, they died my milk green and I thought that was weird because I was only used to drinking green milk at home. I wasn’t used to drinking it at school, so I refused to drink it and they made me sit at the table for two hours until I drank my milk. It was traumatic and it became all warm and disgusting. My parents also used to spread chocolate gold coins or green coins everywhere around our house to say that the leprechauns came.

Are you looking forward to celebrate?

Yeah, I’m looking forward to hopefully hanging out with my family and eating some good food, but I think it’s going to be pretty chill this year.