A Look at St. Patrick's Day in Chico
Green beer and pancakes, long lines at bars, crowded house parties, and shirts that say "Kiss me, I'm Irish" are all staples of St. Patrick's Day in Chico. Known as one of the largest "student holidays" of the year, St. Patrick's Day has become a notorious excuse for students to drink and party.
Unfortunately, the real meanings of holidays such as St. Patrick's Day and Cesar Chavez Day are often lost in the college lifestyle. Instead of remembering and respecting these holidays, many students forget what these days are intended for and turn them into a day full of excessive drinking.
Many Chico bars hold events to promote "St. Patty's Day." One of these events was a "Black and White Party" where the first 200 people in line wearing black and white received passes to cut the line on St. Patrick's Day. But this kind of event has nothing to do with the original celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
So why do we celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
Known as the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was initially born in Britain. At the age of 16, he was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who attacked his family's estate and brought him to Ireland, where he was sold into slavery.
It is said that six years into his captivity, St. Patrick heard the voice of God that told him it was time to escape back to England.
Upon his return to Britain, St. Patrick began his religious training and eventually became an ordained priest. St. Patrick claimed to have another vision in the form of a dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to convert them to Christianity.
St. Patrick returned to Ireland with the Pope's blessing and started converting the Gaelic Irish to Christianity. During his work in the country, he established monasteries, schools, and churches while also developing a clergy.
It is believed that St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D. The day has been celebrated as St. Patrick's Day for thousands of years to commemorate the saint's missionary work.
So before you wake up on March 17, put on your "Kiss me, I'm Irish" shirt, and start pinching someone who is not wearing green, think about what you are truly celebrating.
Remember that being a college student is supposed to be fun, but "St. Patty's Day" is not just an excuse to drink as much as possible at house parties or bars. There is a historical value to this day, and it needs to be treated as such. So here is to what the Irish call "good health" - "Sláinte Mhath!"