As well as a fine excuse to drink too much Guinness and pretend to be Irish for a day, St Patrick’s Day is also the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint. Held every year on 17th March, the day continues to grow in popularity with more and more cities in the UK - and around the world – spending the day raising a toast to the Emerald Isle. Ireland is the world’s favourite second country – as evidenced with St Paddy’s day being celebrated in places as diverse as Montserrat, Auckland and Tokoyo.
Time for a history lesson. St Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 5th century. His father was a Deacon and his Grandfather a Priest. The legend goes that he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland by raiders; eventually he managed to makes good his escape after God came to him in a vision advising a boat would wait for him on the coast.
On returning to Britain, Patrick determined that he would return to Ireland as a Missionary, the story goes that he did exactly this, converting thousands of Pagans to Christianity and driving the snakes out of Ireland. One part of the story which has been completely fabricated – probably by Saint Patrick himself – was the driving out of the snakes from Ireland – Ireland has never had snakes!
St Patrick’s Day celebrations date back to the 17th Century. St Patrick’s Day was then a religious feast commemorating the death of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. With the coming of the 20th century St Patrick's Day began to take the shape we are familiar with today. From the 1920-1950s a public parade became traditional in Dublin and it has since spread to cities across the globe.
Paddy’s Day Celebrations – What to Do
Blighty’s Best St Patrick’s Day Party
St Patrick's Day parades are held throughout the UK, one of the biggest is in Birmingham. This year, the BBC
, reports around 85,000 people joined the parade held in the Digbeth area aka ‘the Irish Quarter of Birmingham’, roads were closed off with two stages for live music in place. In attendance was the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, Dan Mulhall, who proclaims the event to be ‘as good as anywhere in the world’. The event is actually the third biggest globally with only New York and Dublin attracting larger crowds, this is due to Birmingham having the largest Irish population in the UK and Britain’s only dedicated Irish quarter. So although you may have missed this year’s parade there is loads you can do to celebrate.
St Patrick’s Day in Birmingham:
- Visit the Old Crown all week from Sunday-Sunday, 12th-18th March for events including Irish films, sport, food and music
- Visit the Gin Parlour at Jekyll and Hyde, get quirky cocktails like a miniature bath of gin
- Enjoy Emerald green Guinness by the tub load
- Boogie on down to Reflex for an 80s retro disco party
- What better than an Irish pub on St Patrick’s Day? Visit O’Neills for lots of Irish themed fun
A Long Weekend in Dublin
Go back to where it all began with a trip to the Emerald Isle. Visit Dublin for the ultimate St Patrick’s Day Festival experience. With a week of festivities a trip to Dublin will be action packed and exciting, if you’ve got Irish roots it’s the perfect way to celebrate your heritage and learn more about your ancestral homeland. The Dublin St Patrick’s Day Festival is MASSIVE, in 2016 the The Irish Times
wrote that over half a million people gathered in the streets of the city to celebrate modern Ireland. Expect similar levels of insanity this year. Its guaranteed that you’ll want to witness the spectacle during your Dublin trip, but what else is on?
- 16TH March 2017 – Follow in the footsteps of St Patrick with a walking tour throughout the spots in Dublin where Ireland’s national Patron Saint travelled.
- 16th March 2017 – Visit the Little Museum of Dublin for lunchtime talks and workshops
- 17th March 2017 – Discover the history of Dublin’s Docks
- 17th March 2017 – Check out the green landmarks, as iconic Dublin buildings and areas are illuminated in shamrock green!
- 18th March 2017 – Treasure Hunt – Decipher clues to unravel the history of this great city
- 19th March 2017 – Festival 5k race
- 19th March 2017 – Checkout the family entertainment, including a carousel and funfair attractions
If you are going to celebrate in style in Dublin city you’ll need to think about travel. And, with all the costs of food, drink and partying you’ll want to find cheap travel to keep the costs down. There are various methods of booking cheap travel to Dublin. If you decide to fly, check out Google Flights as well as other travel comparison websites like Skyscanner, Travel Supermarket and Trip Advisor, you’ll find all the best deals for cheap flights to Dublin on this page. On Skyscanner you’ll find flights to Dublin starting at just £14.Or cross by ferry, this is a more expensive option, but if you want to take an extended holiday in Ireland it may be the ideal option for you.
To have a quieter and cheaper night in you can whip up some Irish themed diy treats without leaving the house. This idea is perfect for the homebodys, anyone with young children or those needing to tighten the purse strings. There’s loads of fun St Patrick’s Day inspired Green food
, sweets treats and beer that are a breeze to make. Also there's a great multipack deal on at Morrisons
, visit our Morrisons store page for that as well as party supplies and sweet treats to keep the party going strong.
No its not made from leprechaun wee or even blitzed up shamrocks, green beer is easy to make and you can find everything you need in your local supermarket. We sought help from the erstwhileBetty Crocker
- A light pale beer/ipa, the darker the beer the harder it is to dye it, so unfortunately Guinness is out. The lighter the beer the brighter the green will be!
- Green food colouring from the baking isle of the supermarket
- Add approx. 5 drops of food colouring to the bottom of an empty pint glass
- The more you add the darker the green
- Pro tip hold up your Ireland flag to compare the authenticity of your green hued beer
- Eat with an Irish beef stew (ripe for dying green - if you can stomach it) and you will feel like Saint Paddy himself
Green Chocolate Chip Cookies
These green cookies will get your kids in the festive spirit. These are easy to make, you simply need to add some food colouring to a basic cookie recipe.The recipe
is easy to follow, have fun.