But looking back, I have to wonder...why all the celebrations? Much like New Year's Eve and Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day is a holiday about nothing. I can't imagine that thousands of college students are taking to the streets to celebrate the color green or their Irish heritage. And if it were just a one-day, once a year thing, I doubt I'd even think much about it...but three different weekends to celebrate...celebrating? It seems to be getting a little much. The question is not "how do we stop it?" (If people want to spend their weekends "celebrating", more power to them), but why all the celebrations? Where is this push to celebrate for the sake of celebrating, week after week after week, coming from?
My wife had an interesting theory that the rise in random, consecutive, meaningless celebrations comes from the falling state of the major institutions in our society. She wondered if, in the past, students, families, and young adults were connected in a much stronger way to their schools, families, and churches, which would usually fill the "celebration" need. The annual weekend-dinner, the church feasts and festivals, and the other institutional parities would meet the desires to have these massive celebrations. Now, while these institutions are still alive, they have a weaker pull than a century ago. As a result, people are forced to create their own celebrations out of nowhere.
The other way to look at it: perhaps the increasing ease of information-sharing online has led to an escalation of celebrations across the country. In the past, one each school might have their own event, but it was self-contained to the attendees, or to those who saw the pictures weeks later. Now, however, as social media allows for instant sharing, there's a need to "keep up with the Jones's". Each group sees what the other is doing and feels the need not only to top it...but to join in as well. That's the reason you'll hear of students traveling from school to school to school in the month of March to hit all the celebrations. It's not enough to host your own event; you need to be part of all the others as well.
Of course...maybe this is just a "kids these days..." blog post. Maybe this isn't actually a problem, or even a phenomenon if you step back and look at the party. Maybe these types of gatherings were worse if you look back decades or even centuries and it just seems worse now because it's so easy to share stories online. All of this is possible...though the need to celebrate nothing seems way stronger than even when I was in school ten years ago.
I suppose the real answer is probably a combination of all and none of these ideas. Things rarely fit into neat little boxes.