Here are 7 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day from our guest blogger Sarah Lockwood. Thanks, Sarah!
Like many holidays, St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. has morphed into “just another big party” for a lot of people—which is unfortunate, because there are so many more exciting ways to celebrate. If you’d rather spend the holiday weekend immersing yourself in a more artful and memorable experience, you’re not alone. Plenty of people are finding creative ways to take part in one of spring’s biggest events.
Whether you want to give a nod to the real traditions of the holiday or prefer to instill your St. Paddy’s Day with art and culture, consider these avenues for designing a one-of-a-kind March 17th:
1. Visit the Irish or British portion of your local museum. Sadly, most city dwellers or those within easy driving distance don’t regularly visit their local museums. Choose your poison, whether it’s a traditional art museum, peculiarium (an oddities museum/gallery), or niche museum specializing in a particular art or practice you adore, and then see if they have any special St. Patrick’s Day exhibits or Irish collections. Some museums even offer discount days and times, so check ahead, and see what part of the weekend is the best time to visit. We suggest the Irish Famine Museum on the campus on Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.
2. Face a fear and visit a snake. It’s a myth that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, but as a patron Catholic saint, it’s not a surprising fable. Snakes have long symbolized evil in the faith, and the ability to supposedly remove them from an entire country makes for a nice story. However, historians claim that there weren’t many snakes in Ireland at all during that time. Still, if you like the snake tie-in to the holiday, why not visit one yourself? Check out your local zoo or science center and face your fears (or simply visit what you consider a cute and slithering friend).
3. Go green in every which way. From taking a bubble bath with green food coloring (don’t worry, it won’t stain your skin if used in moderation) to eating only green goodies all day long, who says you only have to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Green wigs, makeup, scores of green veggies, green tea ice cream and more are all up for grabs on St. Patrick’s Day. (Plus, if you have kids, it’s an excellent challenge to get them to really eat their greens!)
4. Join a holiday fun run or walk. All over the country there are St. Paddy-themed fun runs and walks, often with shamrock- or luck-infused themes tied into them. St. Patrick’s Day is a Friday this year, meaning there are even more options to squeeze in a workout and start the weekend off right. Costumes are often encouraged.
5. Learn some Irish slang. For many Americans, Irish accents are one of the toughest to understand, and it doesn’t help that the language is full of slang terms we’re unfamiliar with. Spend some time educating yourself on the more confusing phrases, like “craic” (a good time), “olagonin’” (complaining), or “noodle” (a person’s head).
6. Learn a traditional Irish dance. At many parades and family-friendly events, there are complimentary lessons for traditional Irish dancing. Alternatively, you can look around at dance studios and see if anyone is hosting a special themed event. Still no luck? Hunt down a four-leaf clover and check out a YouTube instructional video! There are both performance and traditional dances to test out.
7. Go to an Irish poetry reading. Ireland has produced a number of renowned poets and authors, and on St. Patrick’s Day many bookstores will host readings of Patrick Kavanagh, John Montague, W.B. Yeats and more. You can even try your hand at whipping up a limerick.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your unique style, and look at all the options available in your town. You’ll be surprised by how many family-friendly opportunities there are, as well as delectable traditional Irish dinners all around town.