The History of St. Patrick’s Day

By Olivia Pocat

Saint Patrick’s day on March 17 is a centuries old Irish tradition. The celebrations started in 1631 when the church established a Feast day honoring St. Patrick. Maewyn Succat changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest. He died around the fifth century after living an eventful life. According to historians, he was born a Roman citizen, then enslaved and taken to Ireland and then became a priest and converted the Druid culture into Christians. Today’s St. Patrick’s day traditions weren’t formally started until the 18th century. In 1762, the first New York City parade took place, and in 1798, the color green became associated with the day. Budweiser successfully marketed the holiday in the 1980s and thus, the tradition of downing beer began. Some other traditions include wearing green or getting pinched, making a trap to catch the devious leprechauns, or searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. At this point, the holiday has veered far away from its intentional celebration, but the traditions created among the years have made it iconic.