Saint Patrick’s Day and its promise
of Spring brings a much appreciated
relief for students and other
Accompanying that promise comes the
beloved traditions of good food,
shamrocks, the color green,
leprechauns and other folklore.
Although these staples have become
an integral part of the Americanized
holiday, they do not accurately mirror
Ireland’s celebration. In order to keep
true to the holiday, here are some of the
Contrary to what many people may believe,
corned beef and cabbage is not the national
dish of Ireland.
The custom was started in the U.S.
among the first generation of Irish-Americans.
Immigrants desiring the familiar tastes of
their homeland yearned for boiled bacon, but
instead had to settle for a cheaper meat
cut known as beef brisket. As for cabbage,
it was one of the least expensive vegetables.
Ireland’s national dish is actually
a stew consisting of slow-boiled mutton,
onions, potatoesand parsley.
Another symbol that appears during
Saint Paddy’s festivities is the sham-
rock. Many secular Americans see the
shamrock as a sign of good luck, but its
significance has a much deeper mean-
In Catholic tradition, the shamrock
represents the holy Trinity. According
to Irish folklore, Saint Patrick, Ireland’s
most well-known Christian missionary,
used the shamrock to explain how the
Father, Son and Holy Ghost repre-
sent three components of the
one same God. It is now the
national emblem of Ireland.
As for the famed green color,
it was adopted as the national
color and appears on the Irish flag,
but blue was the original color as-
sociated with Saint Patrick. Wearing
green became popular sometime in the
19th century and, according to Nation-
al Geographic, was a sign of solidarity
with the Irish-American commu-
Paired with shamrocks and green
is the dearly beloved Leprechaun.
They are known for being clever trick-
sters and notorious hoarders of gold. So
why are they significant to Saint Pad-
dy’s Day? According to LiveScience,
the word “leprechaun” comes from
an Irish word meaning “shoemaker.”
Their connection is 100 percent Amer-
ican. Many Irish believe the image of
others dressed up as leprechauns pro-
long ethnic stereotypes and don’t accu-
rately represent the essence
o f them in the