A virtual or socially-distanced St Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean less fun. Head online to enjoy the craic.
For the second year running, the global pandemic will put pay to the usual global celebrations for St Patrick’s Day - the day the world revels in Irish culture and heritage - on 17th March.
In a normal year, some 13 million pints of Guinness would be consumed around the world as the Irish diaspora (and everyone who wants to be Irish for a day) come together to raise a glass to the Emerald Isle’s patron saint.
As with 2020, celebrations will be leaving pubs and the streets behind and heading online. Here are our top tips to still have some craic this St Patrick’s Day in safety.
You may have noticed on your daily lockdown saunter a flood of green light. The Global Greening, an initiative promoted by Tourism Ireland, sees famous landmarks and buildings bathed in green light to celebrate links to Ireland.
This year, a record 690 landmarks in 66 countries are taking part in what has become an annual tradition since it first started over a decade ago. Well-known sites like Sydney Opera House, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue and the Empire State Building will be lit up, along with quirkier buildings and monuments like the large Smurf statue in Brussels and an ice sauna in Tampere, Finland.
Festivities in towns and cities across Ireland are usually marked with an annual parade. While, for obvious reasons, mass gatherings like this are not possible this year, organisers are getting creative. Irish broadcaster RTE has organised a virtual parade with children pushing their cars and toys around their gardens instead of the high street.
For more details, check out this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival programme.
World’s oldest St Paddy’s Day parade
Did you know the oldest St Patrick’s Day parade is not one that takes place in Ireland? The annual parade in New York City has taken place uninterrupted since 1762 - and the city isn’t about to die now. This year’s event - which will honour frontline health workers and first responders - will be much smaller in scale due to the pandemic. Timings for the parade are still to be confirmed to avoid people congregating in large numbers. It will be livestreamed.
Guinness and a trad music session
While Irish pubs are closed due to pandemic restrictions in most countries (please check local COVID-19 guidance), that shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy a pint of the Black Stuff (responsibly, of course) while tapping along to some traditional Irish music. Tourism Ireland will be hosting a 90-minute broadcast of live music from three beloved pubs in Dublin, Dingle, and Belfast on YouTube, Facebook, and online from 8 pm CET.
Find out all the details on how to watch here.
Going green for the day
Given his proclivity for using shamrocks as teaching aids, you could say St Patrick was somewhat green-fingered. This St Patrick’s Day, why not get stuck into some gardening or nature-based activities? The Green Roots Project is encouraging families to do something different and eco-conscious to celebrate St Patrick this year, whether planting trees, flowers, and vegetables, starting a compost heap, making a bug hotel, or upcycling clothing.
Find out more about the campaign and find out how to get involved here.
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