For those that may be new to the countries where this holiday is celebrated, or for those who would like to know a bit more about the beginnings of this day, please read on.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th in many countries, especially Ireland, England, Canada and the USA. It is a day that you can celebrate by yourself or preferably with friends by doing the following:
1. Wear some green clothing
Young or old, you can add a bit of green to your ensemble or, if you are more daring, be obvious about your love of this day and dress head-to-toe in green! Some like to wear a shirt with a shamrock on it, or better yet, attention-getting slogans like “Everybody’s Irish!” or “Kiss me I’m Irish!”
2. Drink green beer
It is not uncommon to drink green beer at the pub on this day, though traditionalists look down upon this gimmick. Don’t worry – harmless green food dye is used. So if old enough, you should drink at a pub, preferably Irish or British, and take part in their promotions. Most pubs and restaurants will have some promotional games or contests, perhaps sponsors like Guiness, Harp or Kilkenny (Irish beers) will offer freebies (giveaways at no cost). If you do want to drink in a local pub be warned – Irish and British pubs fill up quickly on this day, well before the 5 pm whistle is blown. It’s the place to be on St. Patty’s Day!
3. See a St. Patrick’s Day parade
Today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are all about having fun. A number of years ago the parades were seriously Irish, but these days, you can see a lot of diverse floats, clubs, bands and costumes. I remember when I was young seeing a cowboy at a St. Patrick’s Day parade and wondering “What’s he doing there?” LOL
4. Re-tell the original story of St. Patrick:
A young English boy was stolen from his home and brought back to then-wild Ireland and held as a slave. During these difficult years the young man turned to his Christian faith to keep him going. One night he dreamed that he would walk over a hill and discover a boat that would rescue him. Shortly thereafter he escaped and found such a boat. He finally made it back to his home in England.
Later, as a priest, he decided to return to Ireland, where he knew the language and customs, to convert them to Christianity. Other missionaries had been killed, but he was successful.
He added the circle to the cross which represented the sun, and created the “Celtic cross.”
He used the 3-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. That is why the clover or “shamrock” is a strong symbol not only on St. Patrick’s Day but of Ireland itself.
This is just a brief background description. If interested, please do more research to learn about this fun and interesting holiday, and don’t be shy to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day!