Luck of the Irish: St. Patrick’s Day’s history

Ireland's famous three leaf clover Photo credit: Janine Meuche

Originally a religious holiday in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day has made its mark in American culture. Often celebrated with parades, children’s leprechaun traps and — in truly devout homes — corned beef and cabbage.

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 AD. He is credited for bringing Christianity to the mainstream in Ireland. He is responsible for what we know today as the Celtic cross and used Ireland’s famous three-leaf clover to explain the three members of the Godhead to the previously pagan population. Even though he is referred to as a saint, he was never actually canonized by the Catholic church.

Wearing green on the day to avoid being pinched is an American tradition. The country celebrates in many other ways including dyeing rivers green and hosting some of the largest and oldest parades in our country’s history.

For those looking for ways to celebrate, they can listen to a Spotify playlist of Irish folk songs, or watch the Disney channel original movie, Luck of the Irish, which follows a teenage boy as he fights an evil leprechaun to keep his family’s freedom.