No St. Patrick’s Day Parade? No problem!
St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland since the ninth century. This was long before parades and buildings and people donning their shamrocks to celebrate our great little country. That is the purpose after all, isn’t it? To celebrate Ireland and St. Patrick himself! So, with no parade consider these 5 options.
1. VIRTUAL PARADE
We live in a world very different from that of the ninth century. Email, Snapchat, Instagram, Whatsapp, Skype, group calls, even old fashioned texting are all at our disposal. We can be together from every corner of the globe without leaving our house. Capitalising on this uniting force the national broadcaster of Ireland, RTÉ, are running a virtual parade and you – yes you – no matter where you are in the world, you can take part in the parade. All you have to do is check out RTÉ’s twitter page and follow their instructions.
2. USE YOUR GAEILGE
Perhaps you are a Gaeilgeoir or maybe you don’t even know what that means. St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland and Ireland is the home of Irish (Gaeilge), so, why not get involved. For beginners: Youtube, Books (highly recommend Focloiropedia) or maybe one of your kids, a friend or a neighbour has some Irish and would love to impart their knowledge on you. The best word to start with for St. Patrick’s day? Sláinte.
3. HONOUR OUR HISTORY
Whether you live in Navan or New York, Bermuda or Essex – your local area is brimming with history and a lot of it is Irish. Get researching, get learning, buy a book about your area, about Ireland or Coole Swan. You may discover something fantastic; a relative, a relic or a round tower. If it’s local, walk to it. Get your steps in and get a feel for the history. If you are based overseas plan a trip to Ireland. You will be welcomed with open arms. As we say Céad Míle Fáilte (A hundred thousand welcomes).
4. FEAST FOR THE FEAST DAY
Traditionally St. Patrick’s Day, being a day devoted to a saint, was known as St. Patrick’s feast day. I don’t know about you but I would be happy to bring this tradition right back. Honour the day by choosing some Irish delicacies and sitting down to a family meal. We are not talking about corned beef and cabbage here people. Ireland is the food capital of the world when it comes to fresh food and produce. Have you ever tried Guinness Brown Bread or Soda bread? Give baking a go or try some Irish dairy, it is the best there is. We at Coole Swan are firm believers in this…
5. LAND OF SAINTS AND SCHOLARS
Ireland is rich with history but it is also rich with culture and the arts. James Joyce, W.B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney – these Irish men wrote age defining pieces recognised the world over. Let’s not forget the girls! Maeve Binchy, Louise O’Neill, Eavan Bland, Caitlín Maude. There is no lack of Irish literature to pick up. Irish Music is rich in its span and history also.
Art too ! If you are too cosy at home to go to the National Gallery and check out the work of Jack Butler Yeats and John Lavery, why not take a guided, virtual tour through some beautiful engravings of St. Patrick’s life.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shóna Daoibh go léir
Happy St Patrick’s Day to all!