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On January 17th March every year, the Irish celebrate ‘St Patrick’s Day’ (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), a cultural and religious holiday. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461) who is the most commonly recognised patron saint of Ireland. According to legend, Saint Patrick is believed to have used a three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.
St. Patrick’s Day is now celebrated by many people throughout the world, both Irish and non-Irish alike – with food, drink and all things green. Here are some guidelines on how to celebrate St. Parick’s Day Irish-style!
- Partying – Dublin, the capital city, usually holds a five day festival in honour of the holiday and is the location of Ireland’s largest and most impressive St. Patrick’s Day parade. The city buzzes with life over the course of the festival, with thousands of tourists flooding the city. Pubs are overflowing with travellers and locals eager to “drown the shamrock”. So if you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion, then this is the place to be!
- Food – Eating traditional Irish food and drinking beer and spirits are not the only great consumable goods to come out of Ireland. Corned beef, cabbage and lamb stew accompanied by traditional Irish soda bread are tasty ways to “keep it real.” Potatoes are about as Irish as you can get and are one of the staples of the Irish diet. Traditional Irish foods include bangers and mash, colcannon, bacon (boiled ham) and cabbage, stew, boxty, Shepherd’s Pie, potato bread and black pudding. In Ireland, the day is usually celebrated by eating food such as pink bacon or savoury roast chicken. Note that corned beef and cabbage is more of an Irish-American tradition than an authentically Irish one.
- Music – Ireland has a long history with music, and many incredible styles have emerged. Celtic, folk and traditional Irish pub songs might just get you in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit! You might even be keen to try your hand at some of these traditional instruments, like the tin whistle, the bodhrán, the harp, the fiddle or the uilleann pipes. If traditional music isn’t your thing though, not to worry, the Irish have contributed significantly to the world of pop and rock. Think U2, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy and The Cranberries.
So this St Patrick’s day, why not enjoy the festivities of this popular and now global celebration.
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We hope you enjoy this issue and we are looking forward to seeing you at our future upcoming webinars.