I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Coastal cottages, castles, rainbows, and leprechauns (squeak!). What more could anyone want? Oh yeah…NO SNAKES. Due to its island geography, Ireland is a snake-free country. Wow. Unfortunately, a trip to Ireland is not in my near future. But St. Patrick’s Day is—hooray! So here’s a few fun ideas for celebrating.
Eat yummy Irish food
Good eats are an essential part of every celebration!
Typical favorites include Soda Bread, Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage (my family loves cabbage!), Spinach Pancakes and Corned Beef Hash (hmm…I’m not so sure about that one, but you never know until you try it), and anything green.
My take on the anything green idea usually involves mint chocolate chip ice cream (serious yummmmm). Try this Shamrock Shake recipe sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Green shoes, green clothes (or even green underwear!)
The color green has long been associated with Ireland, which is also known as the Emerald Isle. Rolling fields and verdant mountains characterize this beautiful island.
Easily my favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day is seeing tons of people wearing green. A vital part of this tradition is the willingness to pinch anyone who forgets – and no, green eyes don’t count.
This is especially fun in a family environment where pinches can escalate into all out war. Keep shamrock stickers on hand to prevent family feuds.
You may not look like a leprechaun, but that’s no reason not to have some fun!
In Irish folklore, leprechauns are tricksters associated with a pot of gold hiding at the end of the rainbow. Too bad the rainbow’s end always seems just beyond the next hill!
Leprechauns often visit my house on St. Patrick’s Day, turning our milk green and pancakes green or flipping over portraits on the walls. In some homes they leave glittery footprints across the living room floor, green towels and hand soap in the bathrooms, or a few gold foil chocolate coins on the tables.
Share a brief history
A little background knowledge adds to the fun
St. Patrick’s day commemorates Irish culture and heritage, including the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The holiday is typically celebrated with parades, festivals, shamrocks, and the wearing of green (like I said, my favorite part). The Saint being honored – St. Patrick – developed a belief in God while working as a shepherd in Ireland (he was taken there as a slave). After six years, he escaped, fleeing home to Roman Britain where he became a priest. He later returned to Ireland, to teach the people about Christianity, converting thousands. Legend has it that he used the shamrock—a three-leafed sprig of clover—to help illustrate the meaning of the Holy Trinity. I wonder what he’d think of St. Patrick’s Day now?
What are some of your favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities?
R. H. Roberts’ celebrates Irish legends in her children’s story Jellica’s Pot of Gold.