How To Properly Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In Ireland

With the New Year fast approaching, it’s time that we start to think about another famous religious holiday. No, we’re not talking about Christmas – St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated on March 17th each year, we all find out what it’s like to be Irish, even if not by birthright.

Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration

The day typically involves dancing, drinking, parades, and more importantly, lots of green decorations. All this is in commemoration of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in the country.

While St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide, there’s nothing better than witnessing the spectacle in Ireland itself. Here we take a look at how you can experience it for yourself and properly celebrate the occasion.

Where to go in Ireland

The Irish capital, Dublin, is probably the first place that comes to mind when considering where to go for St. Paddy’s Day. The city is regarded for its pub-crawl potential and excellent selection of live music. The annual parade is also a must-see attraction but can get busy, so make sure to arrive early.

Galway is another great city to experience an authentic St. Patrick’s Day. Here you’ll find a parade, street theatre, live music, and plenty of bars. If you’re able to get into The Quays bar, be sure to toast St. Patrick with a pint of Guinness or a glass of Irish Whiskey.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to reach Ireland from the UK. Flights are available from most airports including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Newcastle. 

There is secure parking at Manchester Airport, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow and many more should you wish to drive to the airport. Alternatively, you can drive to Liverpool and take the ferry to Dublin.

Walk in Saint Patrick’s footsteps

Throughout Ireland, you’ll come across various religious and historical sites dedicated to St. Patrick. Depending on how long you decide to spend in Ireland, it’s a good idea to try and visit some of these to truly embrace the Irish culture.

Croagh Patrick, also called ‘the Reek’, is a mountain in County Mayo and an important site of pilgrimage. It is here that St. Patrick was said to have fasted for 40 days. Visitors are able to walk in his footsteps, hiking the 4-mile-long path to the summit while observing stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Saint Patrick constructed his first churches in Armagh but you’ll also find a Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. This is built on the site of an ancient well that St. Patrick supposedly used many moons ago.

Embrace the culture and traditions

It’s often thought that you must wear green for St. Patrick’s Day but this isn’t the case. You’re free to go as wild or as subtle as you like. Accessories are a great way to dress up an outfit, more specifically Shamrocks, flags, and hats bearing the white, orange, and green colours of the Irish flag.

Another common way of dressing up is to paint your face or dye your hair with the colours of the Irish flag or a couple of shamrocks on either cheek. Whatever you decide, just make sure it is respectful and appropriate.

You can’t leave Ireland without trying some traditional food – beer and spirits aren’t the only consumable goods to come from the nation. Staple dishes include corned beef, cabbage and lamb stew, and Irish soda bread.

Other popular foods include colcannon, Shepherd’s Pie, bacon and cabbage, and bangers and mash. Oh, and don’t forget about Irish Boxty – a delicious potato pancake that works best alongside a hearty breakfast of bacon, sausages, and tomatoes.