Dating back to the early 17th century, Saint Patrick’s Day marks the day that Saint Patrick and Christianity arrived in Ireland. March 17 is a day to celebrate the heritage and culture of all things Irish and is celebrated in more countries worldwide than any other national day! While there are several ways you can get into the spirit, here are five of the best St Patrick’s Day traditions you can partake in to ‘go green’ no matter where you are!
Why A Shamrock?
The shamrock is one of the most famous Irish icons, symbolising the rebirth of spring. They were worn by poorer Irish citizens to church on Saint Patrick’s Day to look nice; and before this period, the shamrock is said to have been used by Saint Patrick to teach pagans the Holy Trinity while on his Christianity journey through Ireland.
Nowadays, the shamrock can be used as decorations throughout houses, restaurants, clothing (and more!) to celebrate this momentous day.
Attend A Parade
You might find the luck of the Irish at a Saint Patrick’s Day parade! Decked out in green, white and orange, parades occur all around the world – including Russia, Australia, the USA, New Zealand and plenty more. Chicago dyes their river green in honour of the big day; Montserrat’s celebrations include lively drummers and dancing; and Munich turns out for the city’s third largest celebration.
Eat A Traditional Irish Meal
The three staples of any Irish meal are corned beef, cabbage and soda bread – all hearty foods that were able to be cooked during harder times. Did you know that Irish soda bread is one of the easiest types of bread to make? It uses baking soda instead of yeast, meaning you don’t need to factor in any rising time. Here’s a delicious recipe for soda bread that you can try from the New York Times.
Have A Pint Of Guinness
It would almost be a crime to not celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day without a cool beer, let alone a Guinness! It’s estimated that approximately three million pints are consumed on this day, up from 600,000 pints on any other day. The famous beer has been sold since 1778 and is also used in stews, marinades and baking!
Listen To Irish Music
Ireland is well-known for its strong musical background. A ‘céilí’ is an Irish social gathering that is centred around dancing to traditional Irish music. These aren’t held specifically to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, but are a very common event on the day itself. Traditional instruments that you will hear are the bodhrán (a special drum), the Celtic harp, uilleann pipes and the fiddle.