I love St. Patrick’s Day. Not just because it’s fun to walk around giving your friends that don’t where the color “green” the traditional “pinch,” but because it is a celebration of a very prestigious and unique culture. This year I thought it would be fun to teach my kids some history and culture, as well as enjoy the festivities.
While not a scholar by any means, I love history and love a good reason to throw a good party. Since I learned through researching my family history that I descend from Ireland through my Grandma’s side of the family, I felt it prudent to enjoy a taste of the Irish traditions this year with my family. Before introducing them to some of the fun things that St. Patrick’s Day has to offer, I wanted them to be more familiar with why it is even a celebrated holiday.
Here is what I was able to gather:
Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th) has been observed in Ireland as a religious day for over a thousand years. The day is celebrated in honor of Saint Patrick, a patron saint who by most sources went by the actual name of Maewyn Succat. He was allegedly kidnapped at age 16 and sold into slavery. While enslaved he turned to God and after 6 years escaped to France. While in France he became a priest and then a Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing churches, monasteries, and schools across the country which brought widespread Christianity acceptance across the country among the pagan people. The Shamrock or 3 leaf clover is famous for its metaphorical religious meaning of the trinity (father, son, and holy spirit) thought to be used by Saint Patrick. The St. Patrick’s Day festival itself commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture.
I’m sure that most kids won’t be extremely thrilled with hearing the history of St. Patrick’s Day, so lets get to the more important fun party type stuff. Here is a list of some fun St. Patrick Party Ideas.
- Wear Green! T-shirts are traditional, but have fun, get crazy with it.
- Make funny green top hats
- Paint faces
- Dress up like a leprechaun
- Dye your hair or your pets hair, lol, make sure to use non-toxic dye.
- Use fruit loops to make a rainbow necklace craft with your kids.
- Take cardboard or construction paper and cut out fun festive shapes such as leprechauns, clovers, rainbows, pots of gold, just make it your own, spray paint it green or color it with crayons or markers, and then pin them to your outfit using a safety pin. FREE PRINTABLES BELOW
- Once everybody is dressed up, turn on an Irish tune (look up Irish Jig or Irish music online) and then it’s time to dance. One of the Irish dances that are well known and fun for as few as 2 people all the way up to 16 people is that known as the “ceili” (Kay-Lee) dance. Also something you can look up online to learn more about. If you would rather, crank up your own music and boogie down to whatever your heart desires. It’s all about having a “grand” time. A little Irish lingo just for giggles.
- Make some fun sugar cookies in your favorite St. Patrick’s holiday shapes. Buy some green frosting and a package of “lucky charms” cereal. Have fun with the kids decorating and turning the cookies into a yummy, frosted, marshmallow, Irish treat.
Here are some fun free printable shamrocks (four leaf clovers) for you to use. Attach them to toothpicks for cupcake toppers, to ribbon or string and use them as a banner. They are also great for crafts.
Thank you to St. Patrick for inspiring and making life meaningful to so many people world wide.