How To Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day In 2021
Saint Patrick's Day has been adopted in America as a day of merriment and intoxication, but there's a deep history of this holiday predating its American understanding. This festive celebration of everything green and Irish probably brings back at least one memory of overindulging in a disgusting "Irish" drink surrounded by people you barely know.
As fun as that sounds, this may not be an option in our current day. However, when looking at the holiday's history, there are numerous ideas to stay in the holiday spirit without endangering your health.
The Story Of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick lived during the 5th century CE. During this period, most birth and death dates could not be narrowed to a particular time, place, or year, but his impression on the Emerald Isle continues to flourish to this day.
Several stories of Patricius survive, such as him driving all of the snakes out of Ireland. However, this myth is most likely just a ploy to over-dramatize St. Patrick's influence on Ireland. Snakes have most likely never existed here. In Christianity, snakes represent evil, so this legend is most likely nothing but an allegory on Patricius' spreading of Catholicism.
Considered Ireland's patron saint, Patricius was actually born in a small Romanized British city before being sold into slavery as a shepherd. During this time, he developed a strong connection to Christianity and wanted to convert the primarily druid and pagan island, now known as Ireland.
Patricius is said to have made famous the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Ireland's native people. The triple deity concept was already popular among the people, so St. Patrick used this familiar idea to comfortably convert the natives.
His writings have lived into the modern-day, showing just how influential they were on the Celtic island. The confession and his Letter to Coroticus have been copied down through the ages to reflect British oppression of Irish Catholics.
Some of the traditions on March 17th have significance to the Irish Rebellion. As Irish soldiers fought against the British, they took on green uniforms to make their statement against the red-coated British. Adorning green on St. Paddy's Day announces Irish pride as they claim freedom from British oppression.
This day allows for a lift of Lent restrictions on food and drink consumption, permitting Christians a Feast Day of celebration between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Though, drinking alcohol on this day was generally frowned upon until around the 1970s.
Activities For You And Your Family
With strict social distancing guidelines, it may seem impossible to participate in this religious festival of Irish pride. However, the fun of St. Paddy's Day doesn't end in a bar. In fact, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday in your own home. Here are eight festive ideas to celebrate St. Paddy's Day.
Feast On An Irish Classic
You've probably tried something like Shepherd's Pie, Corned Beef, or Irish Stew. However, many more delicious Irish dishes might have gone unnoticed.
This St. Paddy's day, try baking your own Soda Bread to dip in that Irish stew or serve over some Colcannon and Champ – an Irish potato mash with a leafy green and butter or cream. There's nothing like home-cooked comfort food to celebrate any holiday!
A Toast To Ireland
Guinness is an Irish favorite, but there are many ways to get creative with your choice in drinks. Try making an Irish mudslide. This is a rich chocolate cocktail that can also serve as a dessert for that home-cooked meal (Bailey's optional for the kids).
If you want something a bit stronger, try an Irish whiskey like Jamesons or Bushmills. There are several options to choose from for any drinker.
Irish Movie And Chill?
Netflix has some fantastic options for Irish media. Look for an Irish movie to enjoy on the couch or a series to binge on the holiday weekend.
Whether it be a musical, drama, animated film, or thriller, there's an Irish option for that. Show pride by supporting Irish artists this holiday.
Listen To Some Live Music
Dropkick Murphys is an Irish-American band with a tradition of live performances on St. Paddy's Day. To accommodate the necessity of social distance, they will be live streaming free from Boston this year.
Enjoy some live music by tuning in on Dropkick Murphys' YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook Live.
Exercise That Green Thumb
Take some time to enjoy nature and adopt an Irish plant. Of course, shamrocks are a staple for the holiday, but many more plants native to the Emerald Isle can be grown in celebration of the holiday.
To fuel that new canning addiction, try planting a bramble bush to supply you with raspberries or blackberries. These tasty berry bushes will also make you a favorite with birds.
If you want a pure aesthetic, try potting marigolds, daisies, or corn poppies. Liven up your home with some Irish color.
Snuggle Up With A Book
Try your hand at finding the luck of the Irish, or just enjoy some great literature. Irish poets have claimed great literary heritage inspired by the homeland, and there are several Irish blessings that you can recite to inspire joy and luck.
Dance The Night Away
Step dancing is a great way to participate in Irish culture. There are many videos on YouTube to teach a traditional step dance or jig. You can also engage in an online virtual class if the rhythm catches you.
Crafting With The Kids
Fun activities on St. Patricks' Day aren't always kid-friendly, but craft making is fun for any age. Why buy something gaudy and green when you can make yourself a shamrock pin or yarn woven scrunchy.
Whether crafting with the kids, feasting on some Irish classics, or participating in some Irish culture, St. Paddy's day can still be fun and safe. While current circumstances tend to keep distance between us, there are still a variety of ways for you to share in the celebration.
Celebrate with the traditions of Ireland in mind, and have a safe day full of fun and festivity!