St. Patricks day: The day of the Irish

Ava Biter '25, Staff Writer

Graphic by (Ava Biter ’25)

The holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Most people associate this holiday with leprechauns and wearing green, while others recognize it by gold coins and parades.

The story of Saint Patrick starts with a teenage boy from Britain who was taken to Ireland for work. While there, he spread the word of Christianity, and was soon recognized as a missionary. His efforts are seen today as the reason for the start of Christianity in Ireland. Ever since, on his feast day of March 17, those of Irish descent celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day by cooking special meals or doing certain things to honor him.

The most common tradition for Saint Patrick’s Day for people of all ages is a large dinner full of the most popular dishes from Ireland. These Irish dishes usually include shepherd’s pie, corned beef, cabbage and more.

“Usually each year my family and I just eat a big dinner all together,” Stella Kartsonas ’25 said. “It’s usually corned beef and roasted vegetables.”

Many students have grown up attending the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Detroit, and continue this tradition today. This parade includes decorated floats, sweets and even a leprechaun that walks around to take pictures and hand out candy to children.

“Ever since I was a kid, my family and I have gone downtown to the parade,” Vivi Cilano ’26 said. “It’s always been something fun that we do and my younger siblings especially really love it.”
Another widespread tradition for Saint Patrick’s Day is children attempting to catch leprechauns by setting up traps using household items in hopes of receiving chocolate coins.

“When I was a kid, my brother and I would set up traps for leprechauns using bowls and spoons,” Andrew Dilodovico ’25 said. “We never caught one, but change or chocolate would always be left inside the traps.”

Other South students tend to not celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day now as much as they did when they were kids. As they have grown up, the amount of traditions performed every year began to lessen.

“When I was a kid, my family and I would celebrate by making traps and stuff,” Quin Grabowski ’25 said. “But now we just wear green and eat cabbage at dinner.”

Not only is the food an important part of this holiday, but so are the drinks. McDonalds has a seasonal drink called the “Shamrock Shake” that is only available for a limited time through the months of February and March. This mint flavored milkshake has become an iconic part of many people’s Saint Patrick’s Day tradition.

“Every year, my friends and I get Shamrock Shakes from McDonalds,” Cate Hampton ’24 said. “It’s always a fun way to celebrate the holiday.”