Saint Patrick’s Day is held annually on 17th March and celebrates St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century and at the age of 16 was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but later returned to convert the Irish to Christianity. St. Patrick’s Day remembers the death of St. Patrick and the holiday has grown into a celebration of Irish culture, with green costumes, parades, music, Irish dancing, food, and a whole lot of drinking.
This year, Saint Patrick’s Day will be different due to the pandemic, but traditionally it is marked with families attending church in the morning and then celebrating in crowds, at pubs or street parades, from the afternoon until the early hours. St Patrick’s Day falls during the period of Lent but restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted for one day.
Perhaps because of the 24-hour Lent holiday, drinking alcohol, especially Irish whiskey, cider, or beer, has become a major part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. A popular tradition that is carried out is “drowning (or wetting) the shamrock”. A shamrock is placed into the bottom of a glass, which is filled with whiskey, cider, or beer and is then drunk (or downed) as a toast to Saint Patrick. The shamrock is either to be swallowed with the drink or removed and tossed over the drinker’s shoulder for good luck.
How to Celebrate in Lockdown
- Don your best green getup – dress in green to honour Ireland and do an Irish jig around your living room. Even dressing up at home is great for your mental health and makes it feel like a special occasion.
- Listen to music – there is no better way to get in the mood than to listen to Irish music and reminisce about all your crazy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations over the years.
- Cook a traditional Irish meal – St Patrick’s day is never complete without corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. Or if you fancy something more filling then opt for a tasty pie, with a pint of Guinness on the side.
- Submerse yourself in Irish culture – if drinking and partying isn’t for you, why not celebrate Irish culture with some more relaxing activities, such as reading an Oscar Wilde poem, or watching the classic Father Ted.
- A virtual party – since you can’t go out to party, why not bring the party to you and host or attend a virtual one. Include some of the options above, let your hair down and have some fun!
- Indulge in some Irish booze – ensure you are fully stocked up and enjoy an Irish Whiskey, or if you aren’t a Whiskey fan then a Guinness or Murphy’s will do the trick.