Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Or Paddy’s Day as we like to call it in Ireland (FYI it’s not pronounced Patty’s). I hope you’re wearing your token green clothes (I know we all have that one outfit we keep only to wear on days like this one) but if you’re interested in taking the holiday a step further than the stereotypical ‘Irish’ things that surround today then I’ve come up with a small variety based on my experience from the last five years.
If you’re not in Ireland for Paddy’s Day (which I highly recommend that you go at some point if you can) then attend a parade in your city. American parades are pretty much on the same level as the Irish ones (I mean Chicago colors their river GREEN) but there truly is no vibe like the one in Dublin over this long weekend. It’s one of the best celebrations in the world and the friendliest day of the year. If the parade has already happened in your local area, then I suggest you spend your Friday at the nearest Irish Pub or by having an Irish inspired night in with a movie, playlist, and glass of Baileys.
Start your day like those in Ireland by having a full Irish Breakfast. This mega meal includes brown bread, fried eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, mushroom, tomatoes, and black and white pudding. Most Irish pubs in America have their own version and it’s delicious. (Side note, this also makes for an excellent hangover meal following Paddy’s Day.)
Contrary to popular belief in America, corned beef and cabbage is NOT a meal that the Irish eat. In fact, the sound of it is revolting to them and the next closest dish would have to be bacon and cabbage which in itself is rare. Other popular meals to enjoy on this St. Patrick’s Day is a Shephards Pie (baked lamb minced, veggies and topped with whipped mashed potatoes), seafood chowder, beef stew with Irish soda bread, or the classic fish and chips.
Try a pint of the ‘black stuff’ also known as Guinness (draft is preferred). If you haven’t mastered the trick to drinking Guinness (embrace that foam moustache) or if a whole pint is too much to stomach, then I suggest ordering a Baby Guinness which is basically a small shot of Kahlua and Baileys.
Let’s be honest, Guinness is not a beer for everyone. (Don’t give up hope, it grows on you and you will learn to love it one day.) If it’s not your drink of choice then I would recommend an Irish Cider with a glass of ice. There is nothing quite as refreshing or light as a cold pint of cider. Magners/Bulmers cider is the best Irish brand and comes in apple, pear, and berry flavors.
Other drink options include Baileys Irish Cream in a glass with ice or in a hot cup of cocoa or coffee. Another option is Jameson whiskey with ginger ale. If you don’t like ginger ale, then you can substitute with any other mixer. But if you want to really party, try my old-time favorite, the Irish Car Bomb. (Fun Fact, there is no such thing as an Irish Car Bomb in Ireland and the next similar drink would be Jägerbombs.)
Whichever drink you choose just remember to all toast to saying “Sláinte” (slahn-cha) which is the Gaelic word for “cheers.”
- For a Good Cry: P.S. I Love You
- For Musicals: Once or Sing Street (highly recommend)
- For Inspiration: Brooklyn or Rebellion (A Netflix Original)
- For Drama: Veronica Guerin, The Guard, or The General
- For Comedy: Mrs. Brown’s Boys or Father Ted.
These two comedies are without a doubt the most popular sitcoms in Ireland. They both exemplify the quintessential Irish humor and while Father Ted is a bit old school, Mrs Brown’s Boys is my all time favorite. Once you understand what is going on (and can understand their accents) then you’ve truly assimilated into the Irish culture (or so they say).
At work, listen to famous Irish bands like U2, Hozier, The Script, Damien Rice, The Cranberries, Bell X1, Sinead O’Conner, or The Frames etc… to get you into the spirit.
I’ve created a playlist below of some legendary Irish songs that are constantly played in pubs and sung around Ireland. Irish music is a bit different so give it a chance (lots of passionate ballads and instruments) and soon you’ll be dancing on the tables while belting your heart out just like the locals. It doesn’t get more authentic than this. I even added Ed Sheeran’s two Irish inspired songs from his new album Divide because they deserve it.
P.S. Happy five year anniversary to my boyfriend whom I met at Temple Bar in Dublin on this very day while wearing my token green outfit and drinking Guinness the way ‘tourists’ do.