Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint, and it is celebrated because he brought Christianity to Ireland. They think he grew up in Britain during the time of the Romans and was kidnapped to become a slave in Ireland.
When he was free again, he trained to become a priest. By the time he went back to Ireland, he had converted thousands of people to become Christians.
St. Patrick’s life dates are not certain, but it was some time after 431 AD when he was appointed as a successor of St. Palladius, Ireland’s first bishop.
What is Saint Patrick’s Day in the United Kingdom All About?
A Pope did not officially canonize Saint Patrick, but he is listed as a saint. The feast day only became official on the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church during the early 1600s. It is because of Luke Wadding that this happened.
Since then, it is considered a holy day of obligation for the Catholic Until the 1700s, Saint Patrick’s Day was mostly celebrated in Ireland, where it was mainly spent in prayer.
It was only in 1903 when St. Patrick’s Day became an official holiday when the Bank Holiday was introduced. This act was introduced by James O’ Mara, a member of the parliament. He ordered pubs to be closed on March 17.
Typically, Irish families would celebrate in the 70s before the ban was uplifted on drinking, and it was a lot different from the party atmosphere today. In general, St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, and people would attend mass in the morning and set aside their afternoon for celebrations. The prohibition against meat on Lent is lifted for the day, and families sing and dance as they celebrate this time in a more somber way than Christmas.
The shamrock is the most common symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. It is a cloverleaf that symbolizes the Holy Trinity. Many people choose to wear green, and the flag of Ireland is normally seen in the parades around the world. The Irish drink brands are popular on this day.
How to Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in the United Kingdom and Things to Do
Watch the Parade
The huge St. Patrick’s Day parade has over half a million attendees on the main streets to watch the procession. They will see colorful floats and performers. To have a better view, you can get a seat in a grandstand on the route. However, the parade is always popular and impressive with families and visitors who want to make the atmosphere more enjoyable. A lot of Dublin residents stay away from the center and gather at the edge of the city, where they can celebrate in a more low-key way.
Nom Nom Nom
The classic dish is corned beef and cabbage in Ireland, which goes very well with all the beer you will drink that day.
Walk Along the Coastline
The weather in Ireland starts to brighten in March, which encourages people to get fresh air. The Irish depression supports a charity called Aware has its yearly harbor walk on this day. The participants make a 26 km journey, walking along the Dublin Bay coastline to reach the other side. It starts in Howth village or Dun Laoghaire. This walk has a beautiful view of Dublin’s coastline, and the endpoints have a lot of quality pubs and restaurants where you can relax.
Drinking Guinness is a tradition in Ireland, and it is very important to do this. On March 17, the drinking of Guinness is on a different level. On this day, there are about 13 million Guinness consumed. There is no pressure, but everyone does it. You should add to this number and try their famous Guinness beer.
How Saint Patrick’s Day in the United Kingdom is Celebrated
There is a Saint Patrick’s Day parade that is celebrated in London. You will like the flamboyant pageant, marching bands, and elaborate floats that come from different parts of the UK, and Irish dancing schools, and sports clubs. The procession will start at midday, coming from Piccadilly, and it is a 2.4 km route that passes through the most iconic landmarks of London. This includes The Ritz, then Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and it stops at Whitehall.
Trafalgar Square St. Patrick’s Day Festival
You can watch the performances on St. Patrick’s Day at Trafalgar Square. The performances are by popular Irish acts, special guests, and rising stars. After that, you can browse the craft stalls and go eat the traditional and modern Irish food in the market. There is also a family zone at Pall Mall East that hosts free entertainment, and it is child-friendly. You can also participate in activities and workshops.
Venues and Special Events for Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in the United Kingdom
The Piano Works
The Piano Works consider themselves as the only venue in London with non-stop live music on St. Patrick’s Day, and it seems like a lot of fun. If you have the energy, you can start with their ‘Brunch to the Beat’ package that includes a couple of modern takes on brunch classics, and you get bottomless drinks.
They have live musicians who will play requested songs until late at night.
Traditional Style in the Rural Areas
‘Down the country’ of Ireland celebrates this day in a more traditional way. On the islands of Gaeltacht, they listen to traditional music while singing and dancing, and they also have horse racings.
St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the UK, an old tradition that will give you a unique and exciting experience as you drink your Guinness beer and party all day.