St. Patrick’s Day: Its History and Roxo's Take On It

I think everyone could use a little luck right now, and with St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated this month, it’s the perfect time for us to feel a little lucky! St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that has been celebrated for over 1,000 years and has become an increasingly popular holiday to celebrate in the United States. Although it is always fun to celebrate this holiday, St. Patrick’s Day holds a deeper meaning aside from leprechauns, wearing green, and luck. If you are like me and have always been curious about how St. Patrick’s Day originated, then you just hit your pot of gold because I’m going to share the history of the holiday and why the story of St. Patrick has been passed down for many generations.


History

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish, Christian holiday celebrated on March 17 to honor the life of St. Patrick. He was considered the patron saint of Ireland, and he is a national apostle. Ironically enough, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. Although St. Patrick lived a virtuous life, he did endure challenges. At age 16, St. Patrick was kidnapped from his home in Britain and brought to Ireland in order to work as a slave. He was held captive for six years until he was able to escape.


Although this experience was likely very traumatizing for St. Patrick, it did result in some good. St. Patrick came from a religious family: His grandfather was a priest and his father was a deacon. However, St. Patrick did not consider himself religious until after he was able to escape from slavery. He grew spiritually during his time in slavery and converted to Christianty as a result of his rekindled relationship with the Lord. Although St. Patrick escaped from Ireland, he returned back to Ireland as a missionary years later. He then began to spread Christianity to the people living in the country. His devotion to spreading Christianity to the Irish is why he was deemed the patron saint.


Traditions

Now that we know the general history of the holiday, you may wonder, where all of the traditions come into play. To begin, the shamrock, a three leafed plant, is important to St. Patrick’s Day because it is believed that St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. This tradition fits into the history of the holiday, but other traditions such as leprechauns and the color green are details that have become associated with the holiday throughout time.

The term “leprechaun” translates to “small-bodied fellow,” and the belief in these characters is thought to have stemmed back to the belief in fairies. According to Celtic folktales, leprechauns were actually mischievous and cranky, and they polished the shoes of fairies. Leprechauns have their own national holiday on May 13 but have become associated with St. Patrick’s Day instead.

To my surprise, the color green is actually not even the correct color to associate with the holiday; it was blue. It was believed that St. Patrick wore blue because many paintings show him wearing a blue cloak. Blue was the color of the Irish flag when King Henry VIII proclaimed that Ireland would be its own country. So historically, blue was the color to associate with Ireland. Now that green is a prominent color on the Irish flag, it has become the color that most Irish and Irish Americans wear to celebrate the holiday.


Finally, huge celebrations were not necessarily a significant part of celebrating the holiday in Ireland because it originated as a religious, family holiday. However, as the holiday grew in popularity, it has become an event that people around the world embrace and celebrate. For example, St. Patrick’s Day parades did not become a standard until Irish immigrants in America began to celebrate the tradition. Today, New York City holds an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, the city of Chicago dyes the Chicago River green, and Atlanta and Boston are two cities known for extravagant parades and celebrations as well.


Are You Feeling Lucky?

Why is luck such a big theme of St. Patrick’s Day? It actually has to do with four-leaf clovers. Celtic legends often mention the presence of four-leaf clovers and how they were a symbol of good luck. They were used as a form of protection to block harm and evil spirits. As we all know, four-leaf clovers are very hard to find because clover plants typically do not produce four leaves. However, Ireland is said to be the home of the most four-leaf clovers in the world, which is how the phrase “luck of the Irish” originated.


Why Are Roxstars Lucky?

Do you believe in luck? It’s a debatable question, but it is always fun to feel a little lucky! Our Roxstars definitely can say that they would consider themselves lucky to be a part of Roxo, so I asked a few of our agency members why they believe that they are so lucky.


“I am lucky to be a part of Roxo because Roxo has empowered me to use my creativity to build relationships, uplift clients and community, and use my skills for good.”

-Nicole Adams, VP Creative and Culture


“I’m lucky to be a Roxstar because Roxo has given me a unique opportunity to learn through real-world experience as a student, which isn’t something a lot of college students are able to do. It’s also given me SO many amazing friends!

-Ashley German, Director of Social Media


“I’m lucky to be a part of such a supportive and motivated community.”

-Madi McPherson, Creative Director


“I feel lucky to be in Roxo because I get a wonderful combination of purposeful work and a supportive professional environment. It is so unique to have learning opportunities, community-building, class credit, and real industry experience all in one.”

-Caroline Osborne, VP of Business Development


“ I feel lucky to be a part of Roxo because it has given me new friends in my major who inspire me to work hard and dream big.”

-Lauren Truxal, Social Media Manager


“Roxo gets to create positive change in our community and prepares students for success after graduation with real-world experience and research-driven creative work. Plus, it’s really fun!”

-Sarah Angle, Faculty Director of Roxo


We all have things that we are lucky and blessed to receive, and Roxo is an opportunity that we are all so lucky to be a part of! I hope this blog post puts you in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit!


Brook Goodman is serving as Roxo Agency’s Copy Editor this semester. Brook is a senior Strategic Communication and Sports Broadcasting double major from Memphis, Tennessee. Brook enjoys watching sports, especially NBA basketball, playing soccer, music, and getting to spend time with friends and family.