St. Patrick’s Day – Facts, Tips and Party Ideas (Plus an Infographic)

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St Patrick’s Day is public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Montserrat and Northern Ireland. It a festive holiday celebrated on the 17th of March in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick.  It is a very well known Irish national holiday which is celebrated by people around the globe especially in Canada, Britain, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and the United States both Irish and non Irish with food, drinks and everything green.  Apparently 122 million Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and that is 39% of the population.  St Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast for Ireland’s patron saint and has transformed into an international festival which celebrates Irish culture with dancing, foods, drinks, parades and the color green.

A Brief History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day has been a cultural and religious celebration which was observed in Ireland for over a thousand of years but it was only recognized in the 1970’s as a celebration of Irish heritage and culture.  This festivity is done in honor of St.  Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to Ireland.  St Patrick’s actual name is Maewyn Succat who was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the tender age of sixteen and in his enslavement; he found a deeper relationship with God.  After six years of captivity, he eloped to France, became a priest and then became Ireland’s second bishop.  He established churches, schools and monasteries across the country for thirty years and brought Christianity amongst the pagan people.  St. Patrick is also popularized for using a shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) which signifies that the three units could be part of the same body.  Later on, his parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his services.  Nowadays, wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day signifies spring, shamrocks and Ireland.

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

You don’t have to be a genuine Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Even if you are an Irish by heart, you can celebrate this holiday by doing the following below.

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What to Wear?

St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts have been the common article of clothing which is proudly worn.  About 83 % of Americans wear Green shirts.    Consider the following suggestions when picking out something to wear: a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” green shirt is one of the popular tag lines to be seen on St. Patrick’s Day.  It is usually worn by kids up to ten years old.  For older than ten years old, it’s recommended to wear T-shirts with Irish beer monikers such as Guinness or Harp.

For playful people who are fonder of dressing up especially on St. Patrick’s Day, you can try a leprechaun costume with the complete get up of white stockings, red beard and green top hat.

If you are busy working on St. Patrick’s Day and would love to participate on this holiday, you could pull together some festive spirit by giving a touch of green to your work wardrobe.  Try a green collared shirt, striped or plain would do or green shamrock dotted tie with matching green socks.

If you’re a minimalist and a bit shy to dress up but would love to show some support for this tradition, you can accessorize your attire by pinning on some shamrock buttons or badges.

If you love to join St. Patrick’s Day parades, you can also dye your hair or even your pet’s hair with a non toxic green dye to voice out your support.  Some kids on the parade and even some adults are also painting their faces with Irish flags of green, white and orange or just by simply putting on a shamrock drawing on the cheek as a sign of support.

Eat Like an Irish

Around 83 % of Americans make a special dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.  They eat traditional Irish food such as bangers and mash, colcannon, bacon (boiled ham), boxty, Shepherd’s Pie, potato bread and black pudding.  To give an Irish-American twist, you may also serve Corned beef, cabbage and lamb stew with traditional Irish soda bread to keep the Irish spirit alive.

Dance Your Irish Hearts Out

Approximately 31 % of Americans attend St. Patrick’s Day themed parties on this holiday.  Irish dancing such as ceili (kay-lee) dance is a form of social dance that is performed by two to sixteen people.  It is a fun way to exercise flexibility and to burn calories.  There are Irish dancing competitions during St. Patrick’s Day, these are called feiseanna and it takes place all over the world.

You can play some traditional Irish music in your parties such as The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Planxty and Clannad or play traditional Irish instruments such as the bodhrán, the fiddle or the uilleann pipes, the tin whistle and the harp.

If you want to take your St. Patrick’s Day party at the comfort of your home, you may make green chocolate chip cookies, green beer or serve cabbage and corned beef or Irish stew.  You may decorate the house in green and shamrocks for finishing touches. About 25 % of Americans decorate their homes and offices on this green festive day.  In addition, you may require your guests to wear anything green or Irish themed clothes to imbibe the Irish feel.

Attend or Get Involved in Local Parades

If you really want to go out there and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but can’t make it to Dublin, you can check out you’re the local scenes for these festive parades. Many large cities such as New York City, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Montreal and Sydney have great celebrations although parades are not seen on small towns.

The second largest parade in the US was seen in Savannah, GA while out of any US state, Boston has the highest number of Irish descendants in their population and it was in South Boston where the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade is recorded anywhere in the world.

St. Patrick’s Day is a festive and communal holiday, so get out on March 17 and get involved!

Comments

  1. verry verrrry verrrrrry nice inforgraphic. 😀

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