Irish Traditions for Saint Patrick's Day
How do the REAL Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
Saint Patrick's Day in America has become one of the most widely celebrated holidays of the year, despite the fact that it is not originally an American holiday. When we here in America think of Saint Patrick's Day, we think green beer, shamrocks and parades. So what do the Irish actually do to honor their patron Saint?
What to wear
For starters, while green is worn to represent Ireland, don't wear too much. The Irish actually consider that to be back luck. Legend has it that green is the color of the Good People (faeries) and if you wear too much green they may come and steal you away! Do, however, incorporate a Shamrock into your wardrobe on St. Paddy's Day as the three leaves of the Shamrock are said to be what Saint Patrick used to explain the Christian idea of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost).
What to eat and drink
Food and drink are definite prerequisites for a Saint Patrick's Day celebration, but don't stop at just corn beef, cabbage and green beer. To honor true Irish tradition, try adding Irish Soda Bread (a quick bread made with bread soda rather than yeast) , Colcannon ( a dish made from mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage) or Boxty (Irish potato pancakes) to the menu. As for your choice of beer, it can't be anything but Irish beer on Saint Patrick's Day. While Guinness is certainly the most well known of the Irish beers, Harp is also an authentic Irish beer and quite tasty! While green beer is fun, Saint Paddy's Day just isn't complete without a sip of Irish Whiskey. Whether you prefer a mixed drink like an Emerald, an Irish Coffee or whiskey straight, make sure it's authentic Irish whiskey! Bushmills is one of the oldest and most respected Irish whiskey makers, but Jameson and Kilbeggan made a fine whiskey as well. If you can afford to splurge, savor the taste of Bushmills 1608 or Jameson Rarest Vintage. Last, but not least, you must have music on St. Paddy's Day.
What to listen to
The Irish love to dance and their music has been used for centuries to express everything from birth to death and all the emotions in between. Like many other cultures, when the Irish culture was repressed by English imperialism, they were forbidden to speak their own language. Music became their means of expression and still is today. Irish classics like Finnegan's Wake, The Unicorn Song and Danny Boy can be heard all over Ireland in celebration Saint Patrick. So this Saint Patrick's Day, celebrate like a true Irishman! Slainte!
Saint Patrick's Day Parade from Ireland
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