How To Celebrate: Saint Patrick's Day
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St. Patrick's Day was established as a way to recognize Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Originally a religious holiday, it is now practiced on March 17th by many people throughout the world with food, drink and all things green.
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The 8th-17th of March is Seachtain na Gaeilge.
(Week of Ireland/Irish.)Try and celebrate it by speaking
more Irish than you would normally.
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Accessorize:
Buttons, pins and jewelry are all great ways to dress up
an outfit. On St. Patrick's Day, they become ways to
express the fun side of fashion. Nothing is too gaudy or
outlandish. Buttons with clever (or not so clever) sayings
are also encouraged. Small shamrock pins are a great
and subtle way to express your support of the holiday.
Dying your hair or your pets' fur bright green is also a
great way to stand out.
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Eat traditional Irish food:
Beer and spirits are not the only great "foods" to come
out of Ireland. Corned beef (corned beef is not a
traditional Irish meal, that tradition started in NYC),
cabbage and lamb stew are tasty ways to "keep it real."
Potatoes are about as Irish as you can get and are one
of the staples of the Irish diet.
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Know The History of St. Patrick's Day:
Though history saw celebrations of feasts in his honor,
St. Patrick's Day was not officially recognized until 1976.
Saint Patrick has been credited with bringing Christianity
to Ireland. There seem to be multiple origin stories for St.
Patrick's Day, but:

Most sources agree that St. Patrick's actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was
kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.

Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.

It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, "the wearing of the green" on St. Patrick's Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.

The date of St. Patrick's death is still up for discussion. Some say that he died on March 17th, 461 AD. Another possibility is either March 8th or 9th - the days were added together to get March 17th. What is certain is that the holiday came to America in 1737, and was celebrated in Boston that year.
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Play some music.
Ireland has a long history with music, and many incredible
styles have emerged. Celtic, folk and traditional Irish pub songs
might just get you in the St. Patrick's Day spirit!

Attend local parades
If you can't make it to the five day festival in Dublin, Ireland,
check out the scene locally. Though small towns aren't likely to
have parades, many large cities such as New York City, Boston,
St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, London and Sydney have
great celebrations. Savannah, GA boasts the 2nd largest
parade in the U.S.

Listen to the radio
Popular radio stations will often be announcing their involvement
in parties around your city to drum up buzz. If you haven't heard
anything, call up the local stations and ask if they've heard any St. Patrick's Day news
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Go Green
You don't have to wear a sweater with a giant shamrock on it. (Though that would certainly help you stand out.)

The great thing about this holiday is you are free to go as subtle or as wild as you like. St. Patrick's Day T-shirts have been a common article of clothing to wear proudly.

Consider the following suggestions when picking out something to wear: (see related warnings regarding what to wear)

An all green t-shirt
Funny St. Patrick's Day-related sayings (e.g. "Kiss me, I'm Irish!")
A t-shirt screen-printed with Irish beer monikers such as Harp or Guinness
Green-striped polo or collared shirt (for you professionals out there)
Leprechaun costume or your own creation for those who are feeling particularly festive
It is a tradition in Ireland for all attending parades and generally celebrating to wear a small collection of Shamrock fastened by a clothes pin to your top (in the same place as a badge would be worn)
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Check out the bar scene
Most bars and pubs love St. Patrick's Day. One of the few holidays that are marked for an increase in alcohol consumption, many will be catering to patrons. You may find special prices on draft beer, food and cover charges. Call around to your favorite joints and ask if they have any celebration plans.
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Consider staying at home.
If you aren't a fan of the bar scene but still want to celebrate, invite a few friends over and have a St. Patrick's Day themed party. Go as extreme or as laid back as you want: insist that everyone wear green or just have them come as they are and chill out with a few beers. Consider starting a tradition, such as watching a movie - "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is a fun choice; serve corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew with colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage).
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Be respectful
Because St. Patrick's Day has become a secularly practiced holiday, there may be people who feel offended by your green enthusiasm. This is why it is important that you understand why the holiday exists. Explain that you appreciate the early traditions of the holiday and that you aren't intending to dishonor those traditions - you are just trying to have fun.
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Tips
Invite your friends over for an impromptu party to celebrate. You do not need to have a planned party to have a great St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Some people celebrate this day by pinching people who are not wearing green.

Many Irish people play the uillean pipes (similar to the bagpipes). Maybe you can, too!

Traditional Irish foods include bangers and mash, Colcannon, corned beef and cabbage, stew, boxty, a Belfast breakfast and praties-potatoes.

Make sure it's not too tacky or offensive. The "Kiss me, I'm Irish" shirts are often considered distasteful in Ireland. Also, in Ireland, a largely Roman Catholic nation, St. Patrick's Day is not at all reguarded as a fool-around holiday. Especially in the countryside, where customs remain strong and true, St. Patrick's Day is more of a holy day, and much of it is spent at somber Masses in church and/or praying in the home. Some prayers may be said in Latin or Irish Gaelic. There is typically a large feast for dinner with much praying during that too. Be respectful of this, especially as a guest in Dublin during the festivities.
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Warnings
No Irish person celebrating St.Patrick's day in Ireland would ever dream of wearing any item of clothing with funny St. Patrick's Day-related sayings (e.g. "Kiss me, I'm Irish!"); they're just tacky to them. All the above suggestions as to what to wear are consider to be tacky to most native-Irish people, and is seen as something only Americans generally take part in.

Be responsible. Whether you are going out to a bar or over to a friend's, drinking and driving is not acceptable. Select a designated driver in advance who will not drink and will be sure you get home safely. Celebrations are supposed to be happy events, and finding yourself in a drunk tank or in hand cuffs will not be a happy experience.

Drive with caution. Though you are sober, it is possible that there are others who are not being so responsible.

Forgetting to wear green may make you the unfortunate recipient of a painful pinch.
Some people don't like to be pinched, so be careful!
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More St. Patty's Day
Saint Patricks Day
Saint Patricks Day in the US
Saint Patrick

Related:
March Observances  Facts about March
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Resources & Citations: 
Party Planning!
Great planning is the key to a successful party & a successful party means your guests will have memories to last a lifetime!

See our Party Planning section for helpful tips!

How to plan a party
Be a responsible host
Non alcoholic coctail
Host a dinner party
Host a green event
Party Food
Beverage & Party Drinks:
Beverage & Party Drink Directory
CookBook Store
Party Planning:  Ideas & Tips:
Did you know that GREEN is not the only theme for St. Patty's Day?  Nope Rainbow theme parties are popular too. You know... the rainbow and the pot of gold right. Kids especially love rainbow parties because they are so colorful. Plus easy to decorate for.
Arugula Salads:
Arugula Salad with carrots and shaved parmesan is a great pick for those looking for colors that match Irelands flag. Treat your guests with homemade oil & vinegar too.
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St. Patricks Day Celebration:
Everyone is looking for green foods
on St. Pattys Day. If green foods are traditional at your house then check out our list.
Mint Chocolate CupcakesCabbage Soup
MatchaKiwi CheesecakeJello Shots
Green Deviled Eggs

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St. Paddy's Day Drink Tips:
Make green beer by adding green food coloring to an Irish ale (or any light beer!)
For a non alcoholic option try adding green food coloring to any type of clear beverage like sprite or even water.