St. Patricks Day | Top 10 Ways to Celebrate

Even the Tin Man gets into St. Patrick's Day celebrations

Even the Tin Man gets into St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Image from Flickr.

For Catholics, St. Patrick’s Day was once a holy day of obligation – and for Irish everywhere, St. Patrick’s day is a chance to celebrate this amazing little country that gets overlooked far too often the rest of the year. If you’d like your St. Paddy’s Day celebrating to go beyond some corned beef and cabbage on your dinner menu, give these ideas a try. For most of them, you won’t even need pay day loans – just a little planning ahead.

10- Drink an Irish beer

The history of beer in Ireland goes far beyond getting a little tipsy in a pub. For a very long time, most water was simply unsafe to drink. Many monasteries as well as households brewed their own beer as a way to have a safe beverage to drink. The alcohol killed bacteria that would otherwise be dangerous. Breweries in Ireland have a long history, sometimes going back hundreds of years. Sip a dark Irish brew and appreciate the fact that without beer, life would have been much more difficult in the dark ages.

9- Try a new stew recipe

Corned beef and cabbage is not actually a traditional Irish meal; beef was too expensive for Irish peasants. Instead, try giving a good, thick Irish stew a try. Layer a pound of carrots with two small onions, a pound or two of potatoes, frozen peas, and two pounds of lamb or mutton, and beef broth or water in your crockpot. Set it on low and let it stew for 8-10 hours while you’re at work. You’ll be able to come home to a truly traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast.

8- Wear green

The wearing of green on St. Patrick’s day started with a political statement in 1790. Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms in hopes of making a statement about Irish nationalism.

7- Travel to Butte, Montana

If you’ve got some extra money from secured loans, then you should try traveling to Butte, Montana for its St. Patrick’s day celebration. It’s not the largest celebration in the country, but this little mining town has a St. Patrick’s day party that is worth the travel. There are even bars in Billings that open only for St. Patrick’s day – and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the governor of Montana delivering their liquor license.

6- Enjoy an Irish drama

Check out your local theater to see if you can see an Irish playwright on the stage – Samuel Beckett, Paul Vincent Carroll, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats all hail from the Emerald Isle.

5- Find Irish music

Stepdancers or not, you can almost always find good Irish music around St. Patrick’s day. Call around to pubs, bars, and performance spaces to find a rousing concert to celebrate the day.

4- Have a leprechaun visit

If you’ve got wee ones in the house, then set up a “leprechaun visit” for them to discover when they wake up or come home from school. Use baby shoes and washable paint or green construction paper to put footprints all over the house. If you want to make it extra special, have one trail of footprints lead to a rainbow with chocolate “gold” at the end of it for them to find.

3- Curl up with a good book

No matter if you love fiction, fantasy, or semi-autobiographical books, Irish authors have you covered. Pour yourself some Irish whiskey and celebrate St. Patrick’s day by reading James Joyce, Jonathan Swift or George Moore.

2- Watch an Irish movie

OK, so they may not be entirely “authentic,” but what could be more fun than watching movies with a “touch o’ the blarney” to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? “The Luck of the Irish”, “Far and Away”, “The Departed”, “Finian’s Rainbow”, or even the new movie “Leap Year” all showcase the people, places, or feelings of the Emerald Isle.

1- Plant potatoes

St. Patrick’s day also marks the beginning of Spring in many parts of the world. Celebrate the coming growing season and have never-to-be-topped fresh potatoes for your table throughout the fall by planting your own Irish Gold. Your local seed store or online sources offer seed potatoes, and potatoes can be grown anywhere you’ve got (or can put) a square foot of dirt.