St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
Whether you’re Irish or not, anyone can take part in Irish fun. After all, it seems like most people wearing “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts aren’t even Irish! Besides the surge of parades, there are also Irish dancing events and traditional Irish music performances that can fill your day. While you can drink all the green beer you’d like, be sure to raise a pint of Guinness. And if you truly want to celebrate like the Irish, put on your Sunday best, as it’s recognized as a holy day on the Emerald Isle. Kids, adults, and everyone in between can enjoy all the best St. Patrick’s Day traditions.
Drink a Pint - Raise a pint of your favorite Irish brew or get in the spirit with a green beer. How green do you want your beer? Well, adding one drop of green food coloring to a 12 oz. pint will result in a pale green color, while three drops will give you a nice shamrock green. Sláinte!
Bake Festive Desserts - Aside from whipping up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread, don't forget the sweets! Put an Irish spin on Shortbread Cookies by adding Irish butter and enjoy with a cup of Irish coffee. Or make a Pizza Pie with sugar cookie dough and layers of chocolate and whipping cream. Yum! There are so many recipes out there.
Listen to Irish Music - No, you don't have to listen to bagpipes to check this off the list. If you have listened to U2, The Script (a favorite or mine), Flogging Molly, or the Cranberries, you have listened to Irish bands. Although listening to Irish folk music is also a great St. Patrick's Day tradition!
Go to a Parade - You'll definitely get into the St. Patrick's Day spirit right away by attending a festive, cheerful parade. Celebrating the day with parades happens around the world, including here in the U.S., Ireland, Australia, Russia, and more.
Say 'Erin go Bragh' - This phrase roughly translates to 'Ireland til the end of time', but is most often translated to 'Ireland Forever'. It is is a popular expression of loyalty to, or affection for, Ireland and its people and culture.
St. Patrick's Day is coming
And you might think it's a joke.
But I'd like to get my hands on
One of the little folk.
For they say in good old Ireland
If a Leprechaun you hold.
You'll go to the end of the rainbow
To his treasure pot of gold.
It may be a lot of blarney
For tis written in Irish folklore.
The Isle is home to the fairies
To be sure, to be sure, to be sure.
© Nancy Russell