St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday that originated in Ireland during the 17th century. St. Patrick’s Day has many traditions associated with it; one of the most prominent ones is wearing green to avoid getting pinched. This can be seen in our survey results, as 83 percent of respondents reported honoring this tradition.
The holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death, March 17. Some modern day traditions associated with this holiday include going to parades, eating cabbage and drinking green beer. A survey was conducted among Southeastern students to see how Louisiana locals carry on St. Patrick’s Day traditions. The survey was posted on social media and mentioned to fellow classmates to garner responses.
This holiday is known for celebrations including symbols such as leprechauns, shamrocks, the snake, and wearing green. Wearing green was thought to make one invisible to leprechauns and is still practiced today. The shamrock represents The Holy Trinity, rebirth and spring time. The snake is also a lesser known symbol and is used as a metaphor for the fall of Paganism.
Some traditions unique to Louisiana include going to parades. Some of our respondents said parades are a part of their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Madison Chauvin, a junior communication major said she is excited to attend her first parade this year in Baton Rouge.
Chauvin said, “I have plans to go this year, because all my friends are going this year.” She continued with, “we just watch the parade and it’s literally an all day thing.”
New Orleans also hosts St. Patrick’s Day parades on Saturday and Sunday, with some of the prize throws being cabbage, potatoes, carrots, irish spring soap, and lucky charms. Many people of legal age celebrate by drinking Irish alcohol such as beer and whiskey. Local bars provide green beer for the holidays such as The Brown Door, Brady’s and Augustine’s. Guinness is also a popular beverage among respondents. Our survey found that 16 percent of respondents said that Guinness is their favorite Irish beer.
Branna Owens, a senior communication major said, “I like Guinness for nostalgic purposes; my 95 pound best friend did a car bomb before I did and I have mad respect for her. So every time I drink Guinness I think of her.”
St. Patrick’s Day offers something for everybody and has become an American tradition, despite its Irish roots.