Whether it was holding a banner at the parade or eating homemade Irish food, the University community celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in full swing Monday.
Familiar sights of clovers and the overabundance of green clothing filled both the Queens campus and Manhattan as students and faculty took part in different ways to commemorate the popular holiday dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland.
Known as Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Irish, the holiday was first celebrated as a religious and cultural holiday to recognize the death of St. Patrick. It is celebrated on March 17 and was made into an official feast day for Christians in the 17th century, which many Christian outlets observe.
As well as celebrating St. Patrick, the Irish celebrate their culture as well as the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Until about the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday and an opportunity to have big family meals.
Junior Jenny Rankin, who is Irish-American, considers St. Paddy’s Day her favorite holiday of the year.
“It’s a time when I get to celebrate all the great things about being Irish,” she said. “Dancing is a huge part of my life and I love that but I also love that everyone gets involved. No matter what your background is, you are Irish on St. Paddy’s Day.”
A diverse set of St. John’s students and faculty marched up Fifth Avenue Monday afternoon to take part in New York City’s 253rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Junior Nicole Gubelli, an English major, said she would rather spend St. Patrick’s Day at home.
“My whole life, my mother, brother and I celebrate the day by watching the NYC parade for my father who marches with the FDNY and has been for the past 18 years,” Gubelli said. “I always prepare dinner; corned beef, cabbage, carrots, horseradish and of course, my favorite, homemade Irish soda bread!”
Senior James Sullivan said that celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is one of his favorite annual traditions.
“Between the Celtic atmosphere, the music and the soda bread, it’s hard not to enjoy it” he said. “I think it’s great when people find the time to recognize the cultures of the world.”