By Racheal Koole
Every year on Saint Patrick’s Day everyone wears green, but do those people actually know what the green means, or what the day itself means?
St. Patrick’s Day originated on March 17th in Ireland. The day celebrates the Patron Saint Patrick who introduced Christianity to Ireland. March 17th was chosen because people believe it’s the day when Saint Patrick died. In Ireland people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green shamrocks or green ribbons. Many places in the U.S. also have their own celebration; for example, Chicago dyes the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Many families also have their own St. Patrick’s Day tradition. One such example is the McKinney family. Junior MargaretAnne McKinney cherishes the day filled with family activities, old traditions and love.
McKinney’s family descends from the Irish and celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with joy.
“I have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since I can remember; my family has always celebrated it,” said McKinney.
Her family celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by dressing in green and enjoying a family dinner.
“This St. Patrick’s Day my mom and I are going up to Holland to participate in the St. Patty’s Day Pacer and we might celebrate with the family . . . . As for what I am wearing? Green of course! My family has always dressed up goofy for St. Patrick’s Day,” said McKinney.
While the McKinney’s follow many of the St. Patrick day traditions, pinching is not one of them. St. Patrick’s Day pinching originated in America as a reminder to wear green which is thought to hide the person from the leprechauns.
“I think that it [pinching] is silly. I did [it] when I was younger, but now that I know more about the actual traditions it makes no sense to me,” said McKinney.
Even though McKinney did not follow all of the assumed traditions, she did follow one activity that many little kids enjoy.
“When I was really little my brother would take me ‘fairy catching’ and we would try to catch fairies and leprechauns,” said McKinney.
Leprechaun catching is usually celebrated in elementary schools with kids building traps to catch the lerprachauns.
St. Patrick’s day holds many traditions for an abundance of people. MargaretAnne and her family have valued these traditions for as long as they can making St. Patrick’s day a very special holiday.