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A spirit that is not afraid

What Saint Patrick's Day means to Auburn students

With spring break memories still at the top of Auburn students’ minds, this week holds another day to celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s St. Patrick Day falls on Friday, March 17, giving Auburn students the opportunity to celebrate the start to the weekend.

Aisles full of green merchandise and decorations have started to pop up in stores, Auburn’s downtown boutiques offer outfits in all shades of green and green beer and food options start to appear on restaurants’ menus. 

While St. Patrick’s Day is definitely a reason to party for many Americans and Auburn students, many may not know the history behind this celebration.

According to, Saint Patrick lived in the fifth century and supposedly brought Christianity to Ireland. He is celebrated as the national patron saint by the Irish and was honored every year with a religious ceremony after his death on March 17, 465 A.D. in Ireland. 

The day was a solely religious holiday in Ireland, where Irish families attended church and memorized the missionary acts of their national patron.

Irish immigrants and soldiers brought the holiday to America. They started to celebrate the religious holiday and honor Saint Patrick in remembrance of their home country. Their patriotism and enthusiasm soon infected the American population and St. Patrick’s Day became a celebration of the whole Irish culture in the U.S.

According to statistics published by the United States Census Bureau, almost 10% of Americans have Irish ancestry today, which shows that Irish culture is still very much alive in American society. 

The holiday has been Americanized and has become more commercial and a reason to party. All over the States, St. Patrick is celebrated with parades, green drinks, and festivities with all things green. 

Auburn is no exception to the celebration. Downtown bars and restaurants offer specialty items, all themed around Ireland’s national color green. Auburn students are looking forward to the celebration.

“I plan on going out. I’m looking forward to everyone wearing green and celebrating something similar. That’s kind of fun and doesn’t happen a lot,” said Stephanie Linid, junior in finance.

Even students that don’t plan on staying in Auburn got caught by the St. Patrick’s fever.

“I’m going home to help at a dance competition, so I guess that’s not really St. Patrick’s Day, but I got my nails green," said Amelia Dennis, sophomore in social science education.

Dennis said that she still expects to see a lot of green and St. Patrick's Day themed decorations.

Other students value the religious background of the holiday. 

“To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I’m going to eat some meat because normally Catholics during lent can’t eat meat on Fridays", said Connor Bergeron, sophomore in exercise science.

Saint Patrick was a Catholic and the holiday is of tremendous importance in the Irish Catholic Church. Bergeron explains the significance of the holiday to the Catholic faith as well as to him personally. 

"Since it’s a feast day, it’s a Saint’s feast day, the Archbishop gives a dispensation so we can eat meat on St. Patrick’s Day so that’s how I’m going to celebrate”, Bergeron said.

Auburn students will have the opportunity to get a taste of Ireland on the Plains this St. Patrick’s Day.

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