St. Patrick’s Day, thought to be celebrated for the color green, leprechauns, clovers and pinching, is coming up. However, few BYU-Idaho students understand what is truly celebrated on this day.
BYU-I is hosting a 5k run at the outdoor track next to the John W. Hart Building at 10 a.m on March 17, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
March 17 marks St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish celebration in memory of St. Patrick, a patron saint in Ireland around the fifth century.
According to the History channel website, St. Patrick — born in Rome Britain — was brought to Ireland as a slave. He is credited for bringing Christianity to the Irish people and establishing many monasteries, churches and schools.
People believe St. Patrick died on March 17, 461, according to the History channel website. His memory lives on with the people of Ireland. His accomplishments are celebrated through feasts and religious services in his honor.
According to Britannica, the celebration came to America through Irish immigrants and the first American celebration for St. Patrick was held in Boston in 1737.
Many of the holiday’s associated items, such as corned beef, shamrocks and wearing green clothing were adopted by the Irish for the benefit of tourist attraction, according to Britannica.
Here are five more things you need to know about this day according to GPB Media, History, National Geographic and Britannica:
1. There is a legend that says St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland because they attacked him during a 40-day fast. It remains a popular tale today.
2. According to another legend, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity.
3. Chicago annually dyes the Chicago River green for a week to celebrate the holiday.
4. Blue was previously the official color associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
5. Corned beef and cabbage became the staple dish for the holiday because this was all families could afford for St. Patrick’s Day when it started in 1737.
Although St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, many Americans still participate in traditions and feasts held annually on March 17, like wearing green, pinching those who do not wear green and eating corned beef.
It was a way for Irish immigrants to stay in touch with their roots while living in America, according to Britannica, and continues to be a way for Irish and non-Irish celebrate St. Patrick today.