St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Being an official Christian feast day, it is not only celebrated in Ireland and by Christian churches, but also in countries where the Irish have migrated. Thus, St. Patrick’s Day is also observed in Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia. Aside from celebrating the arrival Christianity in Ireland, the feast day is also a time to honor Irish culture and tradition. Nowadays, St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated in various ways; and if you want to express your affiliation with the Irish, you can do so too.
One of most visible ways of celebrating the feast day is by going green. This is not related to being environment-friendly; but, literally being green. Green is a color that is closely associated with Ireland; so, on St. Patrick’s Day, you can wear a green shirt or put on green accessories. If you are more daring, you can paint your face or dye your hair with a green color. You can also wear clothes or accessories with a shamrock design. The shamrock, a flower which St. Patrick used to illustrate the Holy Trinity in spreading Christianity in Ireland, is also symbolic of the Irish.
A festival can never be complete without food, so make traditional Irish food part of your meals on St. Patrick’s Day. Feast on corned beef, a vegetable casserole called colcannon, potatoes, boiled ham and cabbage, and pair it with soda bread. You can wash it down with Irish beer. You can also go to a pub and have some Irish whiskey with your friends.
For a more authentic experience, you can go and take a trip to Ireland. Dublin, the country’s capital, is known to hold the grandest St. Patrick’s Day parade as part of the city’s festivities that last for five whole days. The festival itself is a tourist attraction and thousands of visitors flock to the city at this time of the year.
If you prefer a quieter place to celebrate, you can go to Ireland’s countryside, where small towns celebrate the holiday in their own way. You can visit several towns on a single trip if you join a cruise on the River Shannon. It may not be like the more popular European river cruises, but embarking on this one will show you why Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle.” Moreover, you will get acquainted with the Irish people’s famed hospitality.
St. Patrick’s Day is a day of fun and merriment. In celebrating, enjoy the food and the company of your friends and family. Most of all, remember that it is not only a time to be grateful for the Irish people and their culture, but for Christianity as well.