Students follow the rainbow back to St. Patrick’s tradition


March 17 was originally a day for honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

While this tradition still holds true, modern rituals have spun the holiday into an unhinged leprechaun fiasco, giving the Irish and the Irish-at-hearts a chance to paint the town in their green-and-gold attire.

While Irishmen Casey Hoy, the uncle of Colin Hoy ’16, brews his own beer for the holiday, at Staples, the sober activities are just as much fun, if not more.

Lilly Howes ’17 and Lana Whittleton ’18, for example, spend the holiday consuming traditional Irish foods in vast quantities with their stereotypically large, Irish families.

“My grandma’s birthday is on Saint Patrick’s Day, so we have gone to New York before to celebrate,” Whittleton said. “My dad will even make Irish soda bread.”

Howes similarly gathers with a large portion of her family to have dinner, but while feasting and socializing, they admire the Claugah ring, a traditional piece of Irish jewelry, that her grandmother passed down through many generations.

On another side of the rainbow, Brandon Harrington ’17 observes the holiday in a more cheerfully childish recreation.

“All the kids in my family leave a pot outside our door for the leprechaun to leave us gold chocolate coins,” Harrington said.

Even Colin McKechnie ’17, who is not technically Irish by blood, commemorates the holiday by dressing in clothes that are the color of the symbolic four-leaf clover and feasting on corned beef and cabbage.

Saint Patrick was known for bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland, instilling in them a sense of worth, spirituality and, most importantly, family.

The original idea for his commemoration may have altered slightly. However, the same values are epitomized in the activities performed all across the globe each year on this viridescent day.