So you want to throw the perfect St. Patrick’s Day party? Might I suggest surprising everyone with the real thing? My party ideas take a little less from the green aisle at the drugstore and a little more from the Emerald Isle across the ocean.
Traditional Irish Food
Instead of corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew with carrots and potatoes.
Butter up Irish soda bread. Recipes abound online, but it should involve a basic flour and baking soda dough with caraway seeds and raisins.
Replace green frosted cookies with this Guinness pudding recipe from the BBC. If you can manage to successfully convert the metric measurements, you’re sure to thrill everyone with this exquisitely European dessert.
Stout, dark beer. That’s a given. Guinness is brewed in Dublin and is an Irish favorite. That’s one St. Patrick’s Day behavior that Americans get right!
You can make milk shakes, hot chocolate, coffee, and numerous shots and cocktails with Irish cream liqueur.
Irish Folk Music
Tradition Irish music ranges from emotional pieces by Irish tenors to ruckus, lively jigs that can convince almost anyone to dance. Authentic Ireland gives more information about folk music on the Emerald Isle. My favorite on the list: Rocky Road to Dublin.
St. Patrick Decorations
What would be lovelier than live shamrocks in pots? They’re easy to get from florists. Shamrocks cover the fields of Ireland and, legend has it, carpeted the ground wherever St. Patrick walked. Don’t worry about them having four leaves; three leaves were historically more sacred. To the Druids, they represented the Earth, Sea and Sky. To St. Patrick, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You’ll find trilogy symbols throughout Ireland, making it a perfect symbol for your party.
St. Patrick’s Day Prayers
St. Patrick’s Day is the feast of the Patron Saint of Ireland and a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics in Ireland. Traditional observance of the holiday involves prayer, reflection, and attending Mass. Regardless of your family’s faith, in keeping with the traditional meaning of the holiday, consider a reading of a prayer by St. Patrick himself or one said to him by Irish Catholics. Several, including this one, are available at Catholic Online.
Dear St. Patrick,
in your humility you called yourself a sinner,
but you became a most successful missionary
and prompted countless pagans
to follow the Savior.
Many of their descendants in turn
spread the Good News in numerous foreign lands.
Through your powerful intercession with God,
obtain the missionaries we need
to continue the work you began.