From a sea of green marching down New York City to dyeing the Chicago River green, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration had across the nation that brings thousands of people together. Students at BYU-Idaho are no exception.
Some students see St. Patrick’s Day as a great chance to wear the holiday’s color and celebrate its culture.
“I enjoy wearing green during St. Patrick’s Day, and I will always eat or buy a bowl of Lucky Charms,” said Robert Kuo, a senior studying communication.
Kuo is not the only student to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for its Irish traditions, others proudly embrace the holiday because of their roots.
“I’m Irish,” said Weston Goodell, a freshman studying computer science. “It’s in my roots.”
Goodell said one of his favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities is having a dinner with items such as ham, sparkling cider and scalloped potatoes. He said he also enjoys wearing green on the holiday.
Other students on campus, however, do not have much of an interest in St. Patrick’s Day.
“My family found it stupid,” said Cameron Smith, a freshman studying civil engineering. “I just found there was no reason for wearing green on a certain day.”
Smith is not the only one who chooses not to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s just not a tradition in my family,” said Laurie Herrera, a sophomore studying public health.
Reasons listed for choosing not to celebrate the holiday range from it not being a tradition to having to wear green to avoid getting pinched.
“I wore green so I wouldn’t get pinched,” Smith said. When asked what would happen if someone pinched him, Smith did not hesitate. “I’d pinch them right back even if they were wearing green. I didn’t like getting pinched.”
Regardless of people’s opinions, St. Patrick’s Day has been a holiday for quite a while now, almost 400 years to be exact.
According to Time magazine, the holiday first began in 1631 when the Catholic Church established a feast day to honor St. Patrick, a patron Irish saint who was alive sometime in the 12th century. The holiday did not start to pick up steam until the 18th century and it eventually made its way to the United States.
Many Irish immigrants came in New York City in the 1840s in an attempt to flee a potato famine. They brought St. Patrick’s Day with them and first began having a parade for it in 1762, according to The New York Times. Fast forward 255 years later and the tradition is still going strong.
Some famous traditions followed for St. Patricks Day include wearing green to avoid getting pinched, having celebratory parades and throwing meals included with corned beef and cabbage, according to USA Today.
In Idaho, there are big events being thrown for the holiday, such as the St. Paddy’s Day on Park being hosted by the Idaho Falls Downtown Development on March 17 from 5-9 p.m. Other events closer to campus include the St. Patricks Day 5K taking place on March 17 at 10 a.m. Additional events going on around Rexburg can be found online.
Whether people here in Idaho chose to celebrate St. Patrick’ s Day or not, it still stands as a holiday that is observed by many across the state of Idaho and the country.