“What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?”
I have asked and been asked this question all week and I am ashamed to admit I have no clue. March 17th, a day for green, shamrocks, beer, Irish flags, and spring weather has become an Irish-American celebration of all things quintessentially Irish. Yet, here at Notre Dame, home of THE Fighting Irish and lover of traditions, we have no St. Patrick’s Day traditions. None. Fail.
You would think that Notre Dame students would be able to show everyone else how it’s done. Heck, we visit a bar named the Blarney Stone three days a week, wear Claddagh rings with pride, deck out our dorm rooms with Irish flags, and don’t cringe at the sound of bagpipes. Yet, here we are with a fully Irish holiday and no traditions to celebrate it with. People are even fleeing to Miami University of Ohio and University of Dayton to really go big.
When the Irish are running off to celebrate with RedHawks and Flyers because they’re doing it better…that’s just plain sad.
Much of this can be explained by the fact that the administration has apparently tried to achieve this very objective by heading off any drinking and debauchery by purposefully planning our spring break around March 17th every year. If the students are off campus, it’s not their problem. The students can be all “Kiss-me-I’m-Irish” elsewhere. While the liability is certainly understandable it seems a shame to deny the Fighting Irish a chance to embrace all things lucky and green. Interestingly, I learned that a Notre Dame Professor discovered that when Father Sorin founded the University of Notre Dame he actually banned the holiday. Being at a time when many Americans were suspicious of the Irish-American immigrants, there was much more tension then surrounding any displays of Irish pride. So, perhaps not having St. Patrick’s Day traditions is the true Notre Dame Fighting Irish tradition after all. Plot twist.
Regardless, this is 2016 and not the late 1800s so let’s see some Irish spirit in full swing this weekend.
Possible ways to celebrate include:
1. Wear green: or be pinched. Duh.
2. Eat green: SUB is giving out green bagels outside DBRT @9am and many other freebies on Fieldhouse Mall @4:30pm
3. Drink green (if you’re 21+): O’Rourkes will have $3 lucky shots all day and green beer from what I hear… #Sláinte
4.Parade green: PE is embracing this challenge and created a St. Paddy’s Day parade around campus complete with bagpipes, Irish Dancing, and cookies. You go Pyros.
To be clear, I am not advocating that students binge drink and embarrass the Fighting Irish name. Instead, I just want to see some pride for our identity. We are ND. We are the Fighting Irish. So go wave a few Erin go bragh banners, wear some green beads, and find some gold at the end of a rainbow. Is that too much to ask?