The Resilience of Those Who Want to Celebrate St. Pat’s

Being bound by your house is no excuse for dismissing the year’s biggest celebration of Irish culture – be creative!


Just because you can’t go to the parade, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! Get the family together and find ways to be Irish at home. (Photo courtesy iStock)

This year is undoubtedly different in the way we celebrate. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up soon, it’s clear that in our current world, the normal modes of celebrating are unable to happen.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make new traditions and learn about why we celebrate St. Patrick’s day the way we do and can we change the ways we celebrate to keep the people we love safe.

But first, the history: the story of Saint Patrick starts before any of us were born. One of the patron saints of Ireland, Saint Patrick was first brought to Ireland as a slave after being captured from his home in Great Britain. He eventually returned back to Great Britain after escaping from his captors before pulling a reverse Uno card and seeing a vision that made him go back to Ireland.

After his arrival in Ireland, few adventures were had such as when Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, but this is most notably considered a symbol for driving out paganism and bringing in Christianity into Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day eventually began as a day of celebration of Saint Patrick on the day he died but it eventually became a celebration of not only Saint Patrick but all of Ireland and its traditions.

The traditional way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day involves a feast normally thrown on March 17th as a celebration, and although this tradition started in Ireland, it’s celebrated all over the world with some of the largest parades and celebrations happening in the United States. People celebrate with food and drinks on St. Patrick’s day because the St. Patrick’s day fest is seen as a day where Christians were allowed to put aside their Lenten restrictions. (Lent is a season of reflection and preparation in the Christian religion beginning on February 17th this year and ending on April 3rd.) This great celebration is usually commemorated with people in the streets, restaurants packed full of people wearing green and shamrocks, and parades throughout the day in many different places.

However, this year’s parades have been canceled in the interest of public safety and restaurants have been closed or reduced entirely to doing takeout. In short, everything looks very different than years prior. The way we used to celebrate is not currently possible, so it’s time to make some changes and new traditions to commemorate the rich history of the holiday.

Despite festivities being limited, St. Patrick’s Day has inspired people to find new and creative ways to celebrate Ireland and Saint Patrick in the midst of COVID-19. This year, we can take advantage of our new-found couch potato status and make things speak in a way only to those who spend hours being bored or online everyday can. Take the time to enjoy movies like Song of the Sea (2014), which goes into Irish myths and folklore, and Brooklyn (2015), which details the journey of a Irish Immigrant in New York City. As a first, the website has a host of streaming programs this year from March 12th through the 17th where you can watch musicians, marching bands, and artists perform right from Ireland.

If you’re looking for something a little less virtual and a little more actual, try some at-home activities. Cook green shamrock pasta or a variety of Irish food (or Irish-looking food!), learn an Irish jig via YouTube, or just wear your best green clothing and learn some Irish slang (“What’s the craic, my grand eejits?”).

Just because we have to stay inside does not necessarily mean that we can’t live the best we can under these conditions. Take the day and do things for yourself to celebrate Saint Patrick and if you’re feeling up for it, maybe paint a shamrock on your face. The purpose of holidays is to find something to celebrate, and St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect day to do so and take care of your housebound self.