It’s here! Perhaps the most highly anticipated Irish holiday of the calendar year—otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day—has arrived. Which begs one question: how might you properly commemorate the day? Whether you’re spending the day with friends or family, wee ones or loved ones of all ages, we’ve got a few ideas for a celebration that’s worth a pot of gold.
TAKE IN A PARADE
Aside from drinking green beer, parades are on of the most popular ways to mark the holiday—especially in America. In fact, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1762 when Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through the streets in honor of their heritage. Perhaps the best thing about a parade is that they are fun for all ages. Watch your local newspaper or event guides to see floats and bands in your town.
HOST A DINNER
Togetherness is key in Irish families and there’s no time that they are closer than when gathered around the dinner table. Whether your family is of Irish descent or you simply admire the heritage of Ireland, follow their lead by hosting a dinner. Plan the menu around traditional Irish fare, including corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and—of course—a few pints of Guinness.
SHARE THE HISTORY
If you want the most traditional route, revisit the roots of the holiday, which started and is still a religious feast day during the Lenten season. This special day, which honors St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland, allowed the Irish—most of whom were and are predominantly Catholic—to lay aside Lenten prohibitions to dance, drink, revel, and even eat meat to mark the occasion. Spend the day recounting this story to your children or tracing your own roots to Ireland with a genealogy project.