Traditional Irish Celebration Style
When we think of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, our mind is flooded with images of green hats, shamrocks, beer, and getting rowdy at the local pub. But traditional Irish celebrations were a far cry from today’s sessions of debauchery. St. Patrick’s day in Ireland was originally a religious feast day to commemorate the 5th century death of the missionary crediting with spreading Christianity in Ireland. The traditional Irish celebrations were far tamer, and would involve a trip to church and a meal. It was a quiet day with no public events, and wasn’t even a public holiday in Ireland until 1904.
So, where did the parades full of dancing leprechauns come from?
How it got started
In 1737 the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held, and it took place in Boston…. GASP! Yes, pick your chin off the floor, the first celebrations involving parades originated in the good old US of A. Boston was a hot spot for Irish immigrants and Irish started small localized celebrations to remind them of home. These trends spread, and by the 19th century St. Patrick’s day was being observed on the streets of major Irish cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York. These parades expanded and developed, and now cities all over the world spend the day going green.
Why did this new way of celebrating take off?
Well, I think it’s fair to say a celebration involving drinking and running around like a maniac has slightly more appeal than a somber trip to church. The Irish took a look at what the Americans were doing and thought, lads, we’re doing it wrong, that’s way more fun. And so, never to be outdone when it comes to a session at the pub, the Irish adopted the American celebrations of their patron saint.
How to celebrate this St. Patrick’s day
Trying to think of what to do this year to honor St. Patrick's Day? Here are some ideas!
1. Eat Irish
Order your favorite meat and potato dish. Vegetables are often as allusive as the sun in the Emerald Isle, so go for shepherd’s pie or your favorite meat and potato combo. Plus, it will be a good base for the next step which is…
2. Drink Irish
Surely nothing is more Irish than a creamy pint of Guinness, and you can raise a glass knowing that in the estimated 7,000 Irish themed pubs all over the world fellow paddy lovers are raising the same glass.
3. Sing Irish
We’ve got a great Spotify playlist you can check out here, where we have a mix of traditional Irish songs, and current Irish artists. Tune in and sing along!
4. Sport Irish
The Gaelic Athletic Association, known as the GAA is rampantly popular in Ireland, so tune in to catch some Hurling or Gaelic Football.
Pro Tip: It’s Paddy not Patty. Patty is a woman. Paddy is short for the traditional Irish spelling of the name Pádraig. So, don’t get caught out with this faux-pas.
Enjoy your celebrations!