Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at your home can be a wonderful way to celebrate your Irish heritage, while also bringing friends and loved ones closer together. For many people who share Gaelic ancestry, the rituals and unique customs of the Irish culture can be lighthearted, fun, and meaningful, too.
While a pint of Guinness or an expertly mixed Irish coffee can add charm to the festivities, it’s possible to throw any kind of Saint Patrick’s Day bash – from a children’s party to a dinner party to a huge, spirited festival with music and a wet bar. Finding the right elements for your own particular budget and tastes is the key to success…
From stunning décor that features the bright green Shamrocks at the Emerald Isle, to food and drink that evokes the cuisine of the Irish people…there are lots of ways to make a Saint Paddy’s party memorable. We’ve compiled a quick guide of simple and exciting tips on planning the perfect Saint Patrick’s Day celebration this March 17th:
Include The Whole Family
If you have small children or know lot of friends who are parents, put together a fun party that is suitable for younger participants. Little children always make special occasions more joyful – their innocence, playfulness, and curiosity can add the right spirit to an all-ages Saint Paddy’ party.
Make things enjoyable for them by planning some simple and exciting arts and crafts. Felt, colorful cardboard, and children’s glue can be used to make leprechaun hats, colorful Shamrocks (glue them to wooden Popsicle sticks so they can wave them like wands), and pretty rainbows with pots of gold. The whole vibe should be relaxed.
Consider baking the children a Shamrock-shaped cake. You can use three round aluminum cake pans, then mold the circles together into a three-leaf shamrock. You’ll need an extra section of cake to form the stem. Bright green food coloring can be added to simple butter frosting. Or simply make typical round cupcakes and put a green frosting shamrock on each one. The children could also add toppings to their cupcakes (small candies, such as M & M’s or Smarties would work well) as another activity.
Plan A Traditional Irish Menu
There is more to Irish cuisine than meets the eye. Consider planning a dinner party that celebrates the rustic and healthy tastes of the Emerald Isle. Hearty Irish stews, smoked mackerel pâté, and roast pork with creamy sauce can all be lovely choices that are surprisingly “gourmet”. Sides should include traditional soda bread, potatoes, and roasted root vegetables.
Desserts could run the gamut, from apple tarts to spiced fruitcakes to Shamrock-shaped cookies. Ale and whiskey-based cocktails will be more authentic than wine. Plan carefully and create a wonderful ambiance – soft fiddle music could play in the background – candles can be emerald green, along with napkins and other accessories.
Recipes for Irish feasts can be found at the premier gourmet websites online. Search around and look for entrees and appetizers that will be simple to make. Irish cuisine is currently undergoing a real renaissance – you will find many great recipes that feature a few new spins on tried-and-true modern classics. Epicurious.com is one fun website with an archive of free recipes you can print out and use right away.
Throw A Lively Bash Worthy Of A True Irish Pub
The Irish know how to party! These spontaneous people like to enjoy great conversation, superb music, and a drink or two with friends. Mimic the spirit of a true Irish pub experience by hiring local musicians who play Celtic rock, folk, or fiddle music. Live musicianship is the essence of Irish culture – for example, the people of rural Ireland used to meet at the Crossroads of their towns to hear fiddlers “duel” one another. By bringing live Celtic music into your party plans, you will create the perfect mood.
Hanging up a few Kelly-green decorations can be easy and cheap. Crepe paper, and foil Shamrocks can be bought for little money at local dollar stores or department stores. Buying a few fun extras, such as pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”, can add some humorous touches to your party.
Pints of Guinness and other libations (some people just don’t like the dark and heavy barley taste of Guinness), such as lighter ale and wine, or really all you need for guests. A few bags of bar snacks, some great drinks and music, a decoration or two…it’s all about people at an Irish Saint Paddy’s Day bash. Dance and carouse until the wee hours, and encourage a warm, friendly atmosphere for your guests.
This article was written exclusively for The Holiday Diva by Ciara O’Brien. At her online jewelry store and blog, Ciara O’Brien writes about all things Irish and Celtic, including the Claddagh ring.