St. Patrick’s Day is a day riddled with rich traditions in America, such as celebratory parades and festivals, dancing leprechauns, lucky shamrocks and the mandatory donning of green garb to avoid a friendly pinch. This holiday is particularly noteworthy in my family but not for the traditional reasons. My grandmother was born on March 17, which is fitting as she is part Irish. In a dual celebration of her birthday and the holiday, my extended family typically goes out to eat. My grandma dresses in her green outfit with over ten St. Patrick’s Day pins on her vest and foam shamrock earrings the size of softballs. All of my relatives join in the fun with various green ensambles, though no one is quite able to match my grandma’s level of enthusiasm. When our party of twenty people stroll into the restaurant of my grandma’s choice, we are a viridescent sight. This is an annual tradition that I look forward to throughout the year.

Small holidays throughout the year may not have a momentous impact on the life of the typical American, but they can inspire additional joy. Holidays like St. Patrick’s Day are events to anticipate throughout the year. They have the ability to break up monotonous weeks and give a possibly needed reason for celebration. It is enjoyable to dress up in green apparel and attend events such as parades or festivals. Days of happiness with positive memories generated are what life is truly comprised of. St. Patrick’s Day is able to accomplish this for many people, and therefore, does indeed have a purpose in American society.

As a redhead with Irish blood, you bet I’ll be wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. You should, too. I’ve heard it’s good luck.

In other news

Rats can drive cars. Not your car or my car. (Their legs really wouldn’t reach the pedals, after all.) Rather, researchers have created tiny cars just for their lab rats and certain experiments and have taught the little critters how to drive.

There was plenty of action on the track during the Don Weyrich Classic on Wednesday night at Off Road Speedway in an event held to honor Norfolk’s longtime driver and member of the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame.