Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Celebrate the day of the green with your little leprechauns
St Patrick's Day is held every year on March 17. It celebrates the church's feast day of Saint Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland back in the 5th century CE and who was said to have died on this day. However, in spite of its religious origins and significance, St Patrick's Day has become a more secular and wider celebration of Ireland and Irish culture. And yes, the day is very much associated with lots of alcohol!
But St Patrick's Day isn't just all about drinking. And it's certainly not a day for grown-ups only to have fun. Children can celebrate St Patrick's Day too. Here are nine ways that you and your family can celebrate this special day.
1. Wear green.
Even if you don't have a speck of Irish blood running through your veins, it's a tradition to wear green on St Patrick's Day. It's not my son's favourite colour-he prefers red-but hey, he actually has Irish blood running in his veins, so every St Patrick's Day, I make him wear green! Plus the leprechaun hat and silly tie!
2. Read some Irish stories and fairytales together. The stories may not be as well known to you as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table or The Iliad and The Odyssey or Grimm's fairytales. But Ireland has a rich heritage of folktales and stories dating back thousands of years, with great heroes like Cuchulainn and the giant Fin McCool and the great ancient tribe known as the Tuatha De Danann (People of the Goddess Danu). I was lucky enough to have been given the book below (Ita Daly's Stories From Ireland) by a friend living in Ireland. But you can also find a book of Irish stories at your local bookstore or find Irish stories for children online. Here is a good place to start.
3. Celebrate with St Patrick's Day or Irish-themed food. Bake cupcakes with green icing and decorated with rainbow coloured sour candies like the ones below. Very simple to make. For many more fun food ideas (and some healthier options too), go here and here.
4. Create a fairy garden. Fairies have been a part of Irish culture for thousands of years, so why not create a fairy garden in your backyard? They're very simple to make. You can set it up in old pots and containers, or an old wheelbarrow or an old tyre or gumboots. You probably already have most of the things you need for a fairy garden in a pot such as an empty pot or container with drainage holes, high-quality potting soil, and some plants such as moss and succulents. You just need some pebbles, bark, twigs and leaves for decoration, and some fairy figurines and décor.
5. Hide gold chocolate coins in the back yard for children to find. The leprechaun is a famous Irish fairy that is said to be full of mischief and who is said to have a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Just like an Easter egg hunt, why not buy some of those gold chocolate coins and hide them in your backyard for your kids to find? Tell them that a mischievous leprechaun scattered them all over your backyard. Or put all the chocolate coins in a pot, hide the pot, and lead the kids on a scavenger hunt in your backyard, with the clues leading them eventually to the pot!
6. Play Irish music. Music is an integral part of Irish culture. So play Irish music on St Patrick's Day. Play traditional Irish music as well as famous contemporary Irish performers such as U2, the Cranberries, Van Morrison, the Pogues, Enya and the Corrs.
7. Have lunch or dinner at the Canberra Irish Club.
Located in Weston, the Canberra Irish Club is a relaxed, welcoming family-friendly venue. Have lunch or dinner at the club's eatery, Molly's Bistro, which offers a great selection of food (including Irish specialties and a kids' menu) at affordable prices. To find out more about the Canberra Irish Club, go here.
8. Get crafty with St Patrick's Day themed crafts. Get the kids to make paper shamrocks, draw leprechauns, make paper rainbows, etc. There are lots of great kids' craft ideas for St Patrick's Day (including printables and colouring in pages) here.
9. If you are Christian/religious, why not go to church?
It is St Patrick's Day, after all! And this year, St Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday. Your local Catholic/Anglican/Lutheran churches will very likely have St Patrick's Day services on this day.
Happy St Patrick's Day, everyone!
May the Irish hills caress you
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you
May the blessings of St Patrick behold you.