[beer] Today we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with green beer, corned beef and t-shirts bearing phrases like “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” (although we both know you’re probably not). Yet, the real St Patrick didn’t drink, eat or wear any of those things we think of as hallmarks of the holiday. (Okay, maybe he wore the t-shirt). In fact, the origins of the day infamous for Guiness revelry evolved from an adolescent boy’s enslavement by Celtic pirates…
You heard me right. Pirates. At the age of 16, the future Saint Patty was kidnapped from his home in Scotland and taken by pirates to Ireland, where he served as a slave for six long years. He eventually escaped, and after a short stroll (about 200 miles, give or take a few) and a boat ride, he found his way home. Sounds like the screenplay for a Jerry Bruckheimer picture, doesn’t it?
Patrick was eventually ordained as a Catholic bishop and decided to return to the land of his enslavement. He is credited with converting the Celtic Irish people to Christianity by using the clover as a metaphor for the trinity. Legend also says that he drove all of the snakes off of the island, but history says that is one thing he definitely didn’t do. Snakes or no snakes, he died at the age of 96 on March 17, 493 and became the patron saint of Ireland.
[clover] St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world, particularly in Australia, the U.S. and Canada and is an easy excuse for college students to really celebrate. “It’s the only time of the year when it’s okay to drink green things, everyone’s drunk before noon and sober people are out numbered in class 10-1,” said construction management junior Mike Bonner.
Want a piece of irony to chew after a sip of that Guinness? According to The Wearing of the Green, by Mike Cronin Daryl Adair Price, until the 1970s, pubs in Ireland were closed by law on St. Patrick’s Day, since the day was celebrated as a religious holiday. Since then, however, celebrations have moved from the church to the bar, and there they remain.
Speaking of bars, there are several in Lansing and East Lansing that are offering St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. A few places that will be blaring the bagpipes include Buffalo Wild Wings, Harper’s and the Claddagh Irish Pub in Eastwood Towne Center. You’ll find everything from green eggs and ham (more Seussian than Irish, but who cares?) to that infamous clover hued beer.
“St. Patrick’s Day is the one day of the year when everyone is Irish,” said Junior Dave Wells. So, pull out your favorite shade of green today and Erin Go Braugh!

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