Millions worldwide feel a special connection to Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March. A little island at the westernmost edge of Europe is where it all began.
Five Ways to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day
Sadly many of the usual parades world-wide have been cancelled this year. However here are 5 ways you can celebrate St Patrick’s day like the Irish, wherever you are!
1. Wear a shamrock – or anything green!
The lush green landscapes on the island of Ireland have a lot to do with its other name: the Emerald Island, and it’s also why Green is Ireland’s national colour.
On St Patrick’s day, Irish people will wear something green – socks, scarves, sweaters, anything, really – to celebrate the patron saint.
They’ll also pin a little bunch of shamrock to their lapels. This traditional donning of the green is now something people around the world do to honour St Patrick on March 17. But the wearing of green only became a tradition in the 19th century. Up until then, the colour most commonly associated with St Patrick was actually blue.
Discover more St Patrick’s Day facts HERE.
2. Dish up a St Patrick’s Day Recipe
March 17 is the perfect time to celebrate Ireland’s contribution to the world, so whether in Ireland or overseas, it’s time to dish up a delicious St Patrick’s Day feast. Traditional tastes of Ireland include mouthwatering beef and Guinness stew, smoked salmon pâté and, of course, freshly baked soda bread. Here are some tasty recipes from restaurants around the island.
Click HERE for recipes.
3. Learn more about the story of St Patrick.
The date of March 17 marks the day Patrick is said to have died in 461AD – and an Irish Franciscan friar called Luke Wadding is to thank for the world marking this day. Although St Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint, he wasn’t actually Irish – as a boy, he was taken from either Wales or Scotland to Slemish Mountain in County Antrim as a slave.
He tended sheep on this quiet hill before escaping home, where he had a vision that told him to go back to Ireland to spread the word of Christianity. Patrick went everywhere on the island, from Antrim, Down and Armagh to Mayo and Tipperary. In fact, there are not many places untouched by his words – including the metaphorical snakes, who symbolised ridding the island of its pagan roots.
4. Play some favourite Irish tunes – U2, Rory Gallagher, Sinéad O’Connor, Enya, The Cranberries, The Dubliners, Christy Moore, Chieftains… take your pick!
The island of Ireland has been creating its own unique blend of traditional music for centuries. It’s a treasured part of culture that’s been handed down through generations and is known the world over. It’s also diverse, spanning both traditional Irish and Ulster-Scots cultures. Traditional Irish music is known for its exuberant toe-tapping tunes as well as ballads so emotive grown men have been moved to tears.
A new generation of bands and artists including Hozier, The Strypes, Two Door Cinema Club and even One Direction’s Niall Horan are attracting admirers the world over. Not to mention our established acts like U2, Van Morrison and Enya who have been conquering the airwaves for decades now.
Listen to the sounds of Ireland’s pop, rock and indie music scene HERE.
Kick back with the sounds of Ireland’s traditional and folk music scene HERE.
5. If it’s a little cool, make up a lovely Irish Coffee to warm the cockles!
St Patrick’s Day falls in the middle or March and early spring temperatures can still be cool. So It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in one of the world’s most famous liquid creations, Irish Coffee. There are just four ingredients – black coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and whipped cream – which offer a lip-smacking taste of the Emerald Isle. Making a sublime Irish coffee requires the finest ingredients together with a little know-how.
Watch how to make it great:
Some of the world’s greatest whiskeys come from the island of Ireland. A traditional, aromatic drink can be created with dark roast coffee, Jameson Caskmates Stout whiskey, demerara syrup and fresh cream, while new varieties of ‘the water of life’ from one of the island’s many craft distilleries, such as Slane’s triple casked blend, Dingle’s single malt, or Echlinville Distillery’s reborn Dunville’s whiskey – ‘the spirit of Belfast’, will offer a new take on an old classic.
Not forgetting, of course, that the little village of Foynes in County Limerick, on Ireland’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way, was where the world was first introduced to this deliciously warming drink.
Read more about Ireland HERE