St. Patrick's Day: Celebrate the Irish spirit in style!
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the 17th of March, but you already know that, don’t you? Unless you’ve been living under a rock! However, this religious celebration, the feast day of the Irish patron saint, brought Christianity to Ireland and developed it into a holiday of Irish heritage and culture celebrated worldwide. The best part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations usually involves drinking extensive amounts of Whiskey and green beer.
How is St. Patrick's Day celebrated?
Do you ever wonder what it is like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? Yes, of course, there’s the Whiskey, beer and plenty of family-friendly fun. But there’s more traditions and customs that take place that brings out the true essence of St. Patrick’s Day.
Keep reading to find out exciting facts about St. Patrick’s Day and how you can make the most of this festive holiday.
How will the crowds celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2021?
St. Patrick’s Day 2021 Festival will turn out to be a bit of a joyous burst. Rather than the usual festivities and shindigs in the capital with several live events, plus swarms of people on the street for Dublin’s parade, St Patrick’s Festival this year will be going digital. Yes! You heard me right; they will provide a virtual event, an evening jam-packed with culture, conversation, and community fun.
On the 17th of March, from 4 pm onwards, the London Irish Centre (LIC) will stream a special virtual St. Patrick’s Day event to honour the Irish culture and community in London. This free event will be available on LIC’s website https://www.londonirishcentre.org/ and social media.
This year’s theme is ‘London Le Chéile‘, the Irish for #LondonTogether, which captures the essence of collaboration, creativity, and community presented by the Irish in London through the challenges of Covid-19.
The programme will include a community celebration of creative workshops, music, storytelling and more. This is followed by a St. Patrick’s Special streamed live show by a special guest, Q&As with celebrities, and guest performers.
Traditions, Customs and Facts about St Patrick's Day
Dressing up in green on St Patrick’s Day
Many people wear something green on St Patrick’s Day to celebrate their Irish heritage. The Irish wear a small bunch of Shamrocks on the right side of their outer clothing. The Shamrocks are blessed in ceremonies all over Ireland by either the local Priests or Bishops. Known as the ‘Blessing of the Shamrock’.
Parades & festivals
Though the feast of St. Patrick began in Ireland, the first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1766. Today parades for St. Patrick’s Day attract millions of people to celebrate being Irish for a day. It wasn’t until 1995 when the Irish decided to start parading in Dublin. The mega parades last over 5 days. Events include parties, performances, concerts, and funfairs.
Holy day of obligation
The Christians in Ireland attend Church on St Patrick’s Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. Families would dress in green hued clothing, with Shamrocks pinned on their coats, and unitedly attend Church.
After mass, families would enjoy a traditional roast dinner, consisting of meat & veg served along with roast and mashed potatoes.
The drinking of green beer
Yes, drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal, even though you pushed and squashed in an Irish pub that serves green beer! Pretty much everyone knows that St. Patty’s Day is smack in the middle of Lent season, which means that Christians can overlook the Lent period’s limitations for one day and feasts in honour of St. Patrick.
Fun, folklore & facts about St. Patrick's Day
- Blue was the original colour associated with St. Patrick, but now green has become the new blue.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City on this day in 1762. However, there is a long-standing tradition in Chicago up to date. They celebrate the day by dyeing the Chicago River green.
- St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional day for planting peas.
- Farmers believe that planting Cabbage seeds while dressed in nightclothes on the feast of the saint, brings good luck! Note: Eating cabbage and corned beef is an absolute must on St. Patricks Day.
- Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish. Although he came into fame by introducing Christianity to Ireland. Patrick was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late 4th century.
- The Shamrock became associated with St. Patrick when the saint used the three-leafed plant (which is not to be confused with the four-leaf clover) as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity.
- Irish folklore states that St. Patrick gets credit for driving all the snakes out of Ireland. (Although Ireland has never been home to any snakes due to cold weather)
- You can’t attend a St. Patrick’s Day event without knowing at least a few Irish lingo. You’ll hear the words “Erin go Bragh.” Which means “Ireland Forever.”
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments!