How’s it going, guys? It’s the middle of March already… what? How? I feel like we were literally celebrating New Years Eve (via TV and pajamas at home, so fun) like two weeks ago. Is anyone else finding time is going by so quickly? It’s Mid-March, March 17th to be exact, which means that it is that time of year again. The highlight of the Irish calendar. The day that bring the children of Ireland, near and far, to the streets and bars to celebrate… Of course, its St. Patrick’s Day! If you had told me in 2019 that we wouldn’t be able to celebrate not just one, but TWO Paddy’s Days, I’d have laughed and finished my pint of Guinness™. Ireland, like most countries, went into lockdown in 2020 on the weekend right before St. Patrick’s Day, and as someone who worked in an bar here in Ireland, it was a strange turn of events. The world wasn’t as advanced with video technology and live streams as we are today, so the holiday took a huge hit, being so close to international shut-downs.
But, we’re here in 2021 and we’re getting used to (also tired of) Covid, lockdowns, working from home etc. However, even if we’re staying home, or our countries are allowing gatherings, depending on where you are in the world, we could all use a bit of hearty, Irish celebrations to make us feel good! So, in this post, we’re going to look at how you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, no matter where you are in the world! Let’s make March 17th a fun one!
1. Global Greening
This is a fun worldwide initiative by Tourism Ireland. This initiative is one that sees global landmarks across the world being illuminated with a Green hew to show the country’s support of the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day and it’s Irish residents! “From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of famous buildings and sites around the world will be illuminated in green to mark St Patrick’s Day – including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, the Sydney Opera House, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Sky Tower in Auckland, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the Cibeles Fountain in Madrid.” 66 Nations from all continents of the world and a record nearly 700 landmarks will be glowing Green for St. Patrick’s Day. A great way for you to participate and feel apart of the festivities and also want to get out and about, check out the Tourism Ireland list of Green Landmarks and take a stroll through your town/city to take a look!
2. Support Local Irish Bars/Restaurants
No matter where you happen to be in the world, it is nearly impossible to be too far away from an Irish Bar or Gastropub. With everything happening in today’s day and age, we all know how local places are fighting to survive, like the rest of us, through the pandemic. If you’re like me, you won’t bat an eye to ordering a pizza or Chinese takeout whenever the mood strikes (I lack the self control to say no), perhaps this St. Patrick’s Day, you try something new and find an Irish establishment in your town or city and give the food a try! For anyone who needs a recommendation on what to try, an Irish Stew is definitely the way to go! That, or a classic Bacon & Cabbage dinner. For those who may not be partial to meat, a good vegetable soup with homemade soda bread is incredible and definitely worth a try! Above, you’ll see some Irish Bars in Madrid, Glasgow, Vienna and Boston, but be sure to check out Google Maps and TripAdvisor in your area! Support the good ol’ Irish Bars!
3. Irish Beverages
It can’t be a Paddy’s Day without indulging in some classic Irish drinks, alcoholic or otherwise! Internationally, the Irish are known for being fond of a pint or two and what better day to celebrate that the Irish National Holiday! There is a plethora of Irish beers, liquors and refreshments. Typically, for those who are partial to a drink, Guinness is the staple of St. Patrick’s Day and when you wander through the streets of Ireland on March 17th, you’ll see how popular the Stout is! For those who have never tried, give it a go this year! Similarly, drinks like Jameson and Bailey’s are quite popular to have on the day. Add a measure of either to a coffee with a little whipped cream on top, and you’re having a delicious Irish/Bailey’s Coffee! If you’re heading to an Irish Bar or buying some drinks, check online and find something that suits you! There are plenty of sites with even more recommendations!
4. Online Celebrations
As stated in the intro, 2020 for St. Patrick’s Day was a bust! Not enough time to really pull off anything major or restricted to do any events with a crowd. 2021 seems to have a better program happening, which brings about a sense of normality, even if the events are virtual! But even virtual events can be fun! There will be a host of parades, performances and artists on display on the day both in Ireland and around the world. Places like Auckland and New York will be among a few cities actually moving forward with the St. Patrick’s Day Festival! In your area, there may be some festivities on March 17th but if not, I’d surely encourage checking out some of the online events, most notably the St. Patrick’s Festival. Check out Facebook Pages or even newspaper articles to see what is going on and get involved!
5. Support Art & Music
This can be a fun activity. And doesn’t necessarily need to be a St. Patrick’s Day-specific thing to do, but with the way the Arts and Culture sector has been hit by the global pandemic, it would definitely help to read up on authors, musicians, online theater productions, TV shows and movies. Irish communities exist all over the world and they are never short on talent, especially in the realms of music! As for Irish visual media, there is a long list of amazing Irish shows like Normal People, The Young Offenders, Derry Girls and Darklands are definitely shows to sink your teeth into! For movies, films like Brooklyn and Sing Street are must watches! Music is so important for so many people! So many emerging artists have come to the forefront in Covid times thanks to social media and music streaming platforms! I think showcasing local, national talent is so important, if you wish to find out about some amazing Irish artists both in Ireland and Abroad, check out my new Spotify playlist. Even if you wanted some quiet time, there is an abundance of literature and art out there to explore. For amazing books, check out the latest An Post Book Awards and for Art, check out Irish Art Plus, an amazing way to experience historic and modern Ireland!
There is so much that can be done to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year! It’ll be a weird one, with all the online activity and lack of physical events taking place. It just means we have to enjoy and celebrate the day and thank those who are making the effort to put together online events for us to enjoy! Get involved! Dress in Green (Or you could receive a pinch – A tradition), follow the links in this blog post and tell me in the comments how you celebrate Paddy’s Day normally or tell me what you’ll be doing! Enjoy and Stay Safe, All!