Wedged between Valentine’s Day and Easter comes a fun and quirky holiday celebrated in the brisk March weather: St. Patrick’s Day. You know, that day we all get dressed up in green and go drink some beer. If you’d like to go all in with your celebrations, however, and learn something more about this holiday and Irish culture, there are plenty of other St. Patrick’s Day activities you can get swept up in, either outside or from the comfort of your home.
Just choose the ones most applicable to you and you’ll easily have an awesome St. Patrick’s Day holiday this March!
Fun Activities & Things to Do on St.Patrick’s Day to Celebrate!
1. Bake Soda Bread
While similar breads exist in some other countries as well, to the Irish this traditional bread is especially popular. The bread gets its name from the fact that, instead of yeast, baking soda is used as an integral ingredient. It’s made with pastry or cake flour, mixed with buttermilk, yogurt, or stout.
Here are a few recipes to try:
2. Celebrate Mass
While in many other countries St. Patrick’s Day is known as a day to dress in green and get tipsy on Guinness, in Ireland it’s first and foremost a religious holiday, celebrated to commemorate Christianity’s arrival to Ireland. Thus, besides the more rowdy ways of celebration, attending a mass service is also an important part of the day.
3. Drink Green Beer
Now, although I mentioned above that this is an important holiday for religious reasons, of course drinking beer also plays a crucial part in the celebrations. And since the day’s theme color is green, why not consume some green beer? You can easily make some yourself by choosing a light beer of your preference and then adding just two drops of green food coloring in it. You can add up to six if you want a darker color, but be aware that the more food coloring there’s in your beer, the higher the chances you’ll end your night with a green tongue. Unless that’s the point, of course!
Here are a few recipes to try to see which one fits you best:
4. Enjoy a Family Brunch
Even if you want to have some crazy plans later in the afternoon and evening, try starting the day slow and chill, filling you and your family’s tummies with all things yummy. Definitely include the soda bread in your brunch menu, and perhaps also make some other recipes from this list, which includes some traditional and more modern Irish dishes perfect to have on this day.
5. Enjoy a Shamrock Shake
This is a seasonal treat offered by McDonald’s in some selected countries, namely the US and Canada, and of course Ireland. It is a mint-flavored milkshake, complete with a mint green appearance and delicious whipping cream on top. If you have a sweet tooth, this is one excellent way to contribute to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
If you can’t make it to Mickey D’s then try making this treat at home with this recipe: Shamrock Shake Recipe by Susan Olayinka and Mashed Staff.
6. Give To a Green Cause
Keeping up with the theme of green, one of the most meaningful things to do on St. Patrick’s Day is to donate to a green cause. That is, give something to a cause that’s trying to save our environment. Here are seven organizations that you can look into as your donation recipients.
7. Have a Costume Contest
While donning on a costume for Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t as big of a thing as it is for Halloween, it can add a little bit more spice to an already awesome holiday. Anything green will do, but if you want to go all out, rocking a leprechaun outfit will take you a long way. If you’re the host for the holiday this year, encourage your guests to dress up and compete against each other for the best costume of the night.
8. Have a Pint of Guinness
One of the quintessential St. Patrick’s Day activities is to have a pint or more of Guinness, the famous Irish beer. A lot of bars around the world should have it in their selection, and even if you celebrate at home, you shouldn’t run into much trouble buying a pint of it from your local store. Guinness also comes as a non-alcoholic version for those of you who don’t want to drink alcohol.
9. Have an Irish Coffee
Originating from the hands of an Irish bartender in the 1940s, this is a coffee drink that has, in addition to coffee, Irish whiskey, whipped cream, and brown sugar. It’s a warm drink that is best enjoyed after dark. If you’d like to try Irish coffee but do not want it to include alcohol, you can boil the whiskey until alcohol evaporates from it.
It’s easy to order one at most bars, but you can also make a delicious one at home using this recipe: Classic Irish Coffee by Sonja Overhiser
10. Learn a Bit of Gaelic
Although English took the spot of first language among the Irish in the 19th century, many native speakers of Gaelic – more commonly referred to as Irish language – still exist today. If you’d like to quickly learn a few words in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, you can take advantage of online resources such as Duolingo.
11. Learn How to do an Irish Step Dance
With its roots in traditional Irish dance, the Irish step dance is a popular style of performance dance from Ireland. It was perhaps made world famous by the popular theatrical show Riverdance, and is characterized by moving one’s feet in a fast and precise manner, all the while keeping the upper body rather stiff. It can be danced solo or as a group. In comparison to tap dance, there is more emphasis on straight and rigid lines of movement.
12. Learn the History Behind St. Patrick’s Day
Another one among the incredibly meaningful things to do on St. Patrick’s Day is to learn where the holiday originated from. I’ve already quickly touched upon it, but it’ll do you good to educate yourself on the holiday you’re about to go celebrate. You’ll find a whole new meaning to your celebrations and a better understanding of history overall through it!
13. Listen to Irish Music
Besides its hypnotizing performance dance, Irish is also famous for its traditional music. The beautiful traditional Irish music, also known as Celtic music, fills itself with harmonious fiddles, harps, and whistles, as well as a traditional Irish drum, bodhran. You can listen to different traditional Irish music radio channels right here.
For more modern Irish music, check out The Cranberries, Snow Patrol, Sinead O’Connor, U2, and The Corrs.
14. Make a Traditional Irish Meal
Didn’t get enough Irish food over brunch or inviting people over for celebrations and St. Patrick’s Day activities? Continue eating your way through Irish cuisine by making a traditional Irish meal to serve around. Besides the link I’ve shared above, here are some dishes that are specifically traditionally Irish, and therefore the best thing to have for a feast on Saint Patrick’s Day. Corned beef with cabbage is of course a must, but maybe you’d like to try some other dishes, too.
15. Make Some St. Patrick’s Day Crafts
If you’re celebrating the day with little ones around, you can include them in on the fun by making some themed crafts. Together you can decorate the house with leprechauns, rainbows, and clovers, among other great crafts ideas. Even if you’re only about to have adults around for fun times, you can still make and decorate your home with some crafts fit for the day to go all in with celebrating the day.
16. Make St. Patrick’s Day Cards
While you’ve gotten yourself into the groove with the crafts, how about adding some cards commemorating the day into the mix? You’ve already got all the tools in hand thanks to the crafting materials, but you might be able to get some readymade ones from stores, too. Here are some ideas of texts to include with your card!
17. Plant Shamrocks
A shamrock, which is a young sprig, is a plant that the Irish hold as its symbol. It’s said that Saint Patrick saw shamrocks as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity. Thus, you can see it displayed in different types of works, from postcards to airplanes. You can grow a small potted shamrock indoors, but it’s also suitable for an outdoor garden.
Where do you buy shamrocks to plant? You can get them right on Amazon.
18. Recite an Irish Blessing
As the folks of Ireland have deep roots with Christianity, they have created blessings and prayers for many different occasions. Even if you’re not that religious – or Irish, for that matter – these blessings can be meaningful for the recipient to hear, as well as bring you a good feeling to recite. Here are some Irish blessings you may want to recite for your loved ones on Saint Patrick’s Day.
19. Search for Four-leaf Clovers
Four-leaf clovers, the rare version of a three-leaf clover, has been a symbol for good luck since the dawn of time in Ireland, originating from legends dating back centuries. They were Celtic charms back in the day, and even today people will celebrate the discovery of a four-leaf clover, as the belief it brings about good luck continues to persist among us. So if you want to feel lucky this St. Patrick’s Day, head on out and find yourself a four-leaf clover!
20. Do a St. Patrick’s Day Themed Run
In addition to other celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day also makes for the perfect occasion to go for a run as the weather is cool, rather than cold or hot. And don’t worry, most of the themed runs are not that strenuous, and after the finish line comes an epic post-run St. Patrick’s Day party! Don on your costume for the day and find a run to partake in.
21. Taste Some Irish Whiskey
If you’ve already bought some Irish whiskey to make that delicious Irish coffee, you may also wish to sample the whiskey itself. Irish whiskeys, such as Jameson, are often described to taste light and fruity, and are especially great for those that may not be seasoned whiskey or liqueur drinkers.
If you’re not sure of what whiskies to drink, see Town & Country’s 12 of the Best Irish Whiskies to Try Now
22. Test Your Luck Playing a St. Paddy’s Game
Well, after finding your four-leaf clover, and even if you haven’t found one, it’s perhaps time to put your luck to a test and play a game or more in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Especially if you’re hosting a party, you might include some of these games as part of your St. Patrick’s Day activities. Your guests will have a ton of fun and you’ll all have such an unforgettable night!
23. Watch a Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Besides attending mass and drinking beer, one of the biggest ways St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated is by hosting a parade. They are hosted in several different cities around the world, so maybe you’ll get lucky and have one hosted locally. But if not, fret not, it’s still possible and a lot of fun to also watch one virtually, especially in this time and age when we’re discouraged against going into crowded places.
24. Watch an Irish Movie
Looking to spend a chill St. Patrick’s Day at home but still want to include some particularly Irish in it in addition to a pint of Guinness? It’s time to put on an Irish movie! Belfast, a recent Oscar Best Picture nominee, is just one among numerous incredible films to come from Ireland. Check out this list to find your movie picks of the night.
25. Wear Green
By far the simplest way to participate in the day’s celebration is to wear green, be that a green top, dress, skirt, pants, or something else. Even if you’re not leaving your home, you may want to have your feast or watch that movie with some green clothes on, just to add that extra flavor of fun into it. Wearing green will also go a long way with attending a party or a themed run, even if you don’t want to go with a full costume on.
26. Eat Corned Beef and Cabbage
Perhaps the most traditional of all dishes Irish, if you want to celebrate an Irish holiday right, you’ve got to include this in your meal menu! It’s a pretty simple dish to make, and will make for a wonderfully hearty meal to dine on, especially if you include some soda bread on the table for it.
Here are some great recipes:
27. Wear a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” Shirt
Your green clothing item contribution to the day just could be this shirt – especially if you’re actually Irish! It should be quite easy to hunt one down through Google (there’s a cute one on Amazon!), and possibly some stores near you will stock up on such shirts in anticipation of the holiday. Whether you’re Irish or not, this could be a fun and quirky shirt to wear in celebration of the holiday.
. . .
Although the holiday often gets dubbed as one for the beer loving crowd internationally, there are surprisingly many St. Patrick’s Day activities, or ones that can be fit as one, even if you want to celebrate the day low key or together with your family. Whether you are in Ireland or Irish, you can commemorate the day with numerous different festive ways, from simply wearing green to hosting a party with a costume contest. How will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?
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