You don't have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick's Day, the green-themed holiday known for its celebration of Irish culture and myth. From parties to parades, there are many ways people of all different ethnicities can be Irish for the day and enjoy a good time on St. Patrick's Day. Here are some ways you can celebrate.
- Make it green. Whether you're celebrating at home with your kids, at the office, or at your favorite pub with friends, adding green to the day can make St. Patrick's Day a little more festive than the average weekday. Wearing green, drinking green beer or milk shakes, dyeing food green, and putting up whatever kind of green decorations you can find at the local store are common but effective ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Some people also dye their hair green, get temporary tattoos with shamrocks or dress up in other ways almost like it's a green-themed Halloween. Just make sure that hair dye is temporary!
- Check out local events. St. Patrick's Day is a popular day for local events. Whether it's a party at your favorite bar, live Irish music, or a huge, family-friendly parade, there's always something going on come March 17th, at least in major cities. Check your local paper for events of interest around you and stop by for some St. Patrick's Day festivities thrown for anyone who wants to enjoy them. You can also check out this kind of funny website, St-Patrick's-Day.
- Have a party. You can always throw your own St. Patrick's Day party. Decorate in green, have plenty of music: Chieftains, U2, Sinead O'Connor, the Corrs, whatever your taste, plus throw in all the other usual party stuff and invite friends to celebrate with you. You can also serve traditional Irish food, though I wouldn't suggest it, but that's just personal taste. However, if you're interested, find some recipes here:
- Delve into tradition. If you're really proud of your Irish heritage or want to be Irish for the day, look into some St. Patrick trivia on the occasion of this special day. You can learn about your own ethnic background (or someone else's...) by discovering who St. Patrick was and why anyone cares. You can learn about how the saint's day is celebrated in the U.S as compared to how it's celebrated in Ireland. You can even learn about leprechauns if you want. Start here.
- Host an Irish film festival. Rent some Irish-themed DVDs or movies starring Irish actors and veg out for the night with some green-dyed popcorn. Some famous Irish actors: Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Farrell and Fionnula Flanagan (mysterious jeweler from Lost...). Some famous Irish movies? "The Quiet Man," "The Secret of Roan Inish," "Waking Ned Divine," "The Commitments," and "Leprechaun." Okay, maybe that's not exactly Irish as much as just a horrible B-movie, but it could be fun to watch.
- Prank people with rubber snakes. Part of the St. Patrick's legend is that he drove a plague of snakes out of Ireland. A lesser known St. Patrick's Day traditional game relates to this aspect of the man. The rules of the game are simple: See how many people you can spook in one day with a rubber snake (which you can buy at places like NaturePavilion). Play in competition with other people and decide on a prize for the winner. Note: when I say this is a "lesser known tradition," I mean I just made it up today. But I'm so doing it this year.
- Have a designated driver. Few holidays, except maybe New Year's Eve, are as associated with drinking as St. Patrick's Day. If you do go out with some friends and the Irish whiskey and green beer starts flowing, make sure there's a designated driver. A celebration that includes drunk driving could end up being anything but fun.
St. Patrick's Day is a fun, colorful, upbeat holiday that people celebrate all over the world. From the biggest parade in New York City to the celebration in the tiniest small-town pub, there's plenty of fun to be had by the Irish and Irish-for-a-day. St. Patrick's Day can be whatever you make it, and it can be one of the most fun days of the year. And that's no blarney.