Having attended Catholic school for most of my life as well as being part Irish, I have heard the legend of St. Patrick many times. Supposedly, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, chased snakes off of an island after they interrupted a fast in which he was partaking. This legend and others like it were what made St. Patrick’s Day special for me, and I often spent it in church as a result of my Catholic schooling.

Nowadays, however, the whole theme seems to have changed. People say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s day, but not for the same reasons I used to celebrate the holiday. Instead of being a holy holiday celebrating the life of a great saint, St. Patrick’s Day has become a holiday often associated with drinking. How could this have happened?

Once I got to college in September of 2011, my eyes were opened to many things I hadn’t known before. In March of the next year, I experienced my first St. Patrick’s Day party and was surprised by what I saw.

Maybe it was naive of me to expect everyone to spend their St. Patrick’s Day praying, but the fact that the holiday had become an excuse for college kids to get drunk was not something that I expected. Over the past few years, I have been to quite a few St. Patrick’s Day parties, and celebrated the holiday many different ways.

Recently, I have gotten to thinking that maybe treating a holiday of such importance in such a light manner may not be the best policy after all.

Don’t get me wrong; I always enjoy going to a good party and getting my Irish pride on with my friends.

The issue with the whole matter is that a holiday that was once thought of respectfully has become one that people associate with drunkenness and debauchery. I know that many people are probably thinking that I am overreacting to the whole situation, and maybe I am, but would it be so wrong for people to remember the holiday for what it truly stands for instead of what it has been made out to be?

I’m not saying that everyone should shut themselves in their rooms and pray all day.

I just think that people should consider treating the holiday with the respect it deserves, instead of with the flippant attitude that everyone seems to treat it with.

Now I know that nobody is going to stop celebrating the holiday the fun way just because I say so (I wouldn’t even dream of saying so since I will be having a good time myself), but maybe when you are out partying and having a fun, Irish-themed celebration, you can stop to remember the real reason the holiday exists, and be thankful for such a great day.

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