St. Patrick’s Day, originally a day to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint, has become somewhat of an international party, largely thanks to the pride of Irish ex-pats in America (34.7 million Americans claim to have Irish ancestry, that’s about seven times the current population of Ireland). St. Patrick is often credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Historically, to commemorate this as well as Irish culture, the Catholic Church would lift the restrictions of Lent for a day to allow the people to properly celebrate.
The Irish have always been known to have a bit of fun, and with time the revelry of St. Patrick’s Day has extended to the rest of the United Kingdom, overseas and even in to space! Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have famously commemorated the holiday with music, singing, green garb and more. Here are some fun ways you can get involved in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day:
Wear green – Though St. Patrick’s colour was originally blue it has become green, possibly due to the colour’s association with Irish independence.
Pinch those silly enough not to wear green – Though we recommend you keep the pinching to your friends and let others go: they might not take it so well. Supposedly this is to remind people that if you don’t wear green the leprechauns can see you!
Wear a Shamrock – St. Patrick used three leaf clovers to explain the holy trinity to the Irish, and this small plant has now come to be associated with him.
Eat and drink like the Irish – Some suggestions include Colcannon, Shepherd’s pie, Soda bread, Irish stew, Magners, and of course Guinness – 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed globally on any given day, but on a typical St. Patrick’s Day 13 million pints are consumed!
Listening to Irish music – The Celts had a strong oral tradition and after the Irish were conquered and forbidden to speak their mother tongue, many used music to help keep their history alive. This was so well known in fact that Elizabeth I decreed that artists and pipers be hung on the spot in Ireland, as music could be used to rally the Irish
Events on in London
St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival – Sunday the 16th celebrations kick off with the theme ‘world of dance’; river dancers will be headlining and later there’ll be an Irish Ballroom dance at Westminster Cathedral Hall; all associated events are free!
Céili – Try your hand at Irish folk dancing on Saturday March 15
Cultural Celebration – Really a stand-up comedy event featuring Irish comedians and tons of craic
Shindig on the Thames –A St. Patrick’s Day party set on a boat. Ticket costs are donated to the Irish Cultural Centre and the boat will remain docked so that partyers can come and go as they please throughout the evening.
Grab a pint in a proper Irish pub, Time Out has some recommendations if you’re not sure where to go.
Note that most events will be occurring on Friday March 14 – Sunday March 16, since the actual St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th) falls on a Monday.
For a free initial consultation about your specific situation, contact us by any of the following ways:
UK +44 20 7590 2700