In Northern Ireland there isn’t just one public holiday celebrated but two, St. Patrick’s Day and the Twelfth of July. However, St. Patrick’s Day is more widely recognised, also being celebrated largely in America and across the world as well as in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Students in Newcastle are also most likely familiar with St. Patrick’s Day, as it is celebrated nearly as much in ‘the Toon’ as it is in Northern Ireland or Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day originated as a celebration of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who was a missionary of Christianity in Ireland in the 15 century. Popular legend also states that St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. Now, however St. Patricks Day has become a celebration of all things Irish. Every 17 March the Irish, Northern Irish and anyone else who wants to join in the festivities celebrates with parades, music, food and drink.
My best St. Patrick’s Day has to be that of 2018, in an Irish Bar in Belfast, pint in hand with my friends watching the Ireland Rugby team lift the Grand Slam. What greater celebration of all things Irish could there be?
Whilst things are likely to be different this year, here are some ways that you can join in the festivities from home:
Listen to Irish music
Why not bring the celebration to your home with your own Irish playlist! My personal favourites: the Irish Rover by Nathan Carter; Whiskey in the Jar by The Dubliners; Dirty Old Town by The Pogues; I’ll Tell Me Ma by Sham Rock or if you are looking for more modern Irish music Paint the Town Green by The Script is on every St. Patrick’s Day playlist of mine.
Watch an Irish film
If you fancy a quieter night in, why not settle in for a cosy Irish night in! I would personally recommend Brooklyn, Once, Leap Year or if you enjoy Irish dancing Lord of the Dance or River Dance will not disappoint.
You might not be out this year but that’s no excuse not to dress up! Anything green goes, even if it’s your pyjamas, and if you have face paint all the better!
Eat Irish food
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without plenty of snacks! As green is the theme, anything green will work, Nachos and Guacamole, Mint Aero or if you are feeling adventurous why not try making some of your own St. Patrick’s Day snacks. Some green cupcakes, traybakes or cookies.
Some great ideas of things to make such as green velvet cake pops, green matcha popcorn or pot o’ gold cupcakes can be found here!
Make some Irish drinks
Finally, complete your celebration with some iconic Irish drinks! Of course, there is the ever-popular Guinness or Jameson’s whiskey, but if they are not to your taste there are plenty of other Irish drinks to explore. My personal favourites for a cosy night in are Baileys, ice and milk or Baileys hot chocolate. However, you can of course make your own Irish cocktails or mocktails, it’s St. Patrick’s Day so anything green will work. Have a google and you will find yourself some brilliant recipe ideas!
To me, St. Patrick’s Day is all about meeting up with my friends and having a memorable celebration. With us all needing a reason to celebrate these days, why not get involved in St. Patrick’s Day from your home with friends or family, whatever way you wish!