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Trade in the pub for a pot luck: DIY celebrations for St. Patrick's Day

Notoriously viewed as a drinking holiday in the States, St. Patrick’s Day originated as more than an excuse to don emerald clothing and shamrock strung necklaces. The holiday, traditional to Ireland, is a religious feast day celebrating the work of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, who is remembered for his efforts to bring Christianity to the pagan people of Ireland.

While your religious affiliation may not align with that of St. Patrick himself, and perhaps Irish blood doesn’t flow through your veins, you can still celebrate the holiday as authentically as the Irish do without stepping foot in a pub.

Throw a Paddy’s Day Potluck:
Balance your Guinness guzzling with hearty Irish food. Host a potluck and invite friends to bring a classic Irish dish. Luckily for you and  those in attendance, the options exceed the iconic corned beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread combinations that mark the holiday. To stay as traditional as possible, gravitate towards options like Shepard’s Pie, black pudding and roast chicken. Potatoes are also a major Irish staple, so if your cooking talents don’t exactly parallel Martha Stewart’s, you’re in luck: it’s doubtful that anyone in attendance would complain about someone bringing a large order of french fries.

Host a St. Patrick’s Sing-along:
Whether you can shred like John Mayer, or whether you still think the triangle is more of a shape than an actual instrument, a St. Patrick’s Day inspired sing-along is a fun way to release your inner leprechaun and embrace your musical (in)ability alongside friends. Get into the holiday spirit by blasting tunes from Irish bands like The Dubliners and The Chieftains. Bonus points if you incorporate your own instruments.

Learn How to Jig:
A party without dancing is hardly a party at all. Once you crank up the Irish music, challenge your friends to learn how to dance the Céilí, a classic form of Irish social dancing that requires a minimum of two people, and a maximum of sixteen people. What may be a fun and slightly uncoordinated mess of steps could lead to a potential for future competition and prizes in Irish dancing competitions and parades that take place annually on St. Patrick’s Day around the world. Shake your money maker the Irish way, and it just might become your money maker.

Drink Like the Irish: 
For those 21 and over, the usual St. Patrick’s Day scene is a bar crawl. If you’re looking to mix it up, host a beer swap. Ask guests to bring Irish beers and liquors, which everyone can sample to expand their drinking palate. For an added (tongue) twister, play a drinking game in which you substitute traditional English sayings with Irish sayings. Anyone who slips and stops speaking in Irish sayings drinks, in what might just be the most enjoyable and quickest way to get a little more cultured.

While sporting sensationalized St. Paddy’s Day attire is always a good time, show everyone just how deep into the holiday spirit you can get with these traditional Irish inspired ideas. May the luck of the Irish be with you. 

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