Who’s ready for Paddy’s Day? We know we are! After a two-year hiatus of the most anticipated hooley of the year, we are BUZZING to get back out there with friends and family and celebrate what it means to be Irish.
We all have fond memories of St Patrick’s Day, some wholesome and some not so wholesome. On the run-up to this year’s festival, it’s a comfort to know that these memories are shared by many – Irish expats, those who were born and bred here and those who have made Ireland their home. To get into the swing of things, here are 8 things you may experience on this long-awaited Paddy’s Day…
1. A full Irish breakfast
What would Paddy’s Day be without the sound of Clonakilty pudding, rashers and sausages sizzling on the pan? Stick some McCambridges brown bread in the toaster and, if you’re feeling posh, crack open a jar of Ballymaloe relish. If you’re lucky, you may even wake up to the delicious smell of a fry or you may be one of the early birds on pan-duty. Whoever you are, a fry is a must for the day that’s in it.
2. Someone will suggest going to mass
Ah, mass. To be fair, we missed mass over the last two years. The pandemic put a halt to showing face at Midnight mass on Christmas eve and getting a quick smear of ashes at the beginning of lent. Now that we can get back out there, someone will 100% suggest heading to the church on St Patrick's day. It will probably be your mammy or your granny and sure you may as well light a candle or two before all the shenanigans begin!
3. Someone will tell a story of a messy Paddy’s Day of yore
Before ‘Rona, many of us would have cringed at the thought of heading out to the parade. Whether you stood on your local main street cheering on your mates’ tractor or joined the millions of tourists in Temple Bar for pure carnage, each of us has a lovely memory of an embarrassing Paddy’s Day event. Maybe you went too hard on the cans or maybe you thought your dodgy rendition of ‘The Fields of Athenry' wouldn’t be remembered for years to come. These are the stories that celebrate the true meaning of Irishness and must be told year after year.
4. Pints, pints and more pints (or tea for the pioneers)
On the very first St Patrick's Day it was decreed by Naomh Pádraig himself, that pints shall be consumed in honour of him removing the snakes so we could have the craic in peace. Even prosecco-loving girlos, wine mummies and cider-obsessed GAA players will try a pint of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day. Replace Guinness with countless cups of Barry’s or Lyons for those smart enough to avoid alcohol. Either way, many a mug or pint glass will be enjoyed this Paddy’s Day, as they should be.
5. You’ll be told to wear the shamrock
Traditionally, the Irish pull some clover-resembling weeds from the garden each St Patrick’s Day and pin them somewhere on their person. Your granny, elderly co-worker or neighbour will produce these ‘shamrocks’ and invite you to do the same. Do not refuse. It is an honour and a privilege and looks a lot better than the tacky leprechaun hat you were planning to wear.
6. You'll watch the parade and judge it harshly
Whether you’ll be there in person or are watching on a device, the Dublin St Patrick’s Day festival is the main event – and you will comment on it like you’re Louis Walsh circa 2011.
7. Someone will start the sessúin ceol
If you are that person who hops up first with a guitar or starts crooning Grace by the Dubliners, fair play. If you’re the person who hums along in the background to the drones of friends, family or locals from whatever pub you’ve landed in, that’s fine too. All we know is that a proper singsong is well overdue.