St. Patrick’s Day: Celebrating the Irish


Saint Patrick’s day may seem like a day of just wearing green, but among West Potomac are many students and teachers who celebrate their Irish culture.

On March 17, Irish descendants around the globe come together to celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick; the day Saint Patrick died in 460 CE. Wearing the color green, feasting on traditional Irish foods and even tales of leprechauns from folklore may come to your mind when thinking about Saint Patrick’s Day.

Around school, many participated in the holiday by wearing green, but behind these colors were many students and teachers who are of Irish descent, took the holiday a bit further.

“My mom is from Ireland,” said junior Mary Kate Savage. “I am 50 percent Irish, and she’s 75 percent Irish. Part of my dad’s side is Irish too.” 

The story of the Irish is important in understanding their culture. English teacher Colin O’Grady takes pride in the story and believes it is part of who he is today.

“The Irish have a wonderful story,” he said. “In a lot of ways, it is a very sad and tragic story. It is a story of people who have suffered a lot, but it is a story of people who have persevered and struggled through it and have done some really beautiful things.”

Even though the story of the Irish is not the happiest, the festivities surrounding the holiday are family-oriented and joyful. Aside from the more known tradition of wearing green, many Irish families make traditional Irish meals on the night of the holiday.

“In addition to the corn beef and cabbage, we always have salmon for dinner,” he said. “It has to do with an Irish myth; the ‘salmon of wisdom’. It is a very important fish in Ireland. We will have colcannon which is mashed potatoes and kale. Peas, Irish brown bread…we have a traditional Irish dinner.” 

Many Americans every year on this day do some of these traditions whether it is between the family, or within the school community.

“[I enjoy] How happy everyone gets and how appreciative they are of the Irish community,” said junior Ashley Belvis. “It’s really cool to see.”

No doubt, Saint Patrick’s day is a holiday that Irish descendants around our school enjoy celebrating. The holiday is a time of bringing Irish culture and traditions to light, and can bring families and communities closer together.