Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Every year on March 17, people around the world wear green or risk getting pinched. Shamrocks are displayed in store windows, buttons saying “Kiss me I’m Irish” are worn (mostly by people you don’t want to kiss), bars serve green beer and even a river in Chicago gets dyed green. What is that about?

Most people will say they do these things to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, without giving any real explanation as to why. If one were to simply go on the way St. Patrick’s life is celebrated, you’d think he must have been the wildest of all saints. That’s not even close to the truth.

To begin with, Patrick wasn’t Irish and he wasn’t named Patrick. He’s not a canonized saint by the Catholic church. The stories about him driving all the snakes out of Ireland have a credibility problem, as there never were any snakes in Ireland to begin with. But why let facts get in the way of a good party?