Ideas For Throwing A Feast Of St. Patrick's Day Celebration
Spring is almost here and that means St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner - one last holiday to distract us from winter. According to Irish Central, there are more than 39 million Americans who claim to have Irish heritage; that's seven times more than the entire population of Ireland. That might explain why Americans are more enthusiastic about celebrating the patron saint of Ireland than those who actually live on the Emerald Isle. While staying true to the American tradition of enjoying St. Patrick's Day, here are a few ideas to observe the holiday with authentic Irish traditions.
Green - Americans have no problem smothering everything from rivers to sheet sets with green. Green became Ireland's signature color because of its moist and cool climate, which is why we refer to it as the Emerald Isle. Wearing green and decorating with it is about as authentic Irish as you can get.
Shamrocks - We get the shamrock right as well. As one of the most successful missionaries (St. Patrick converted most, if not all, of Ireland from pagan religions to Christianity), he used the shamrock to demonstrate the idea of the Holy Trinity. Though Americans don't regard it as a Christian symbol, it's respected as a symbol of Ireland.
Leprechauns - There isn't a religious connection to the mythical tricksters hiding out in your garden, but a link has been forged between St. Patrick's Day and leprechauns. According to legend, the tiny tricksters can't see you if you're wearing green, which is what we wear on St. Patrick's Day. If you're not wearing green, leprechauns will see you and pinch you. It's Irish, so if your goal is to celebrate Irish heritage, decorating with little men with pots of gold is acceptable even if it's not directly connected to St. Patrick.
Corned Beef and Cabbage - Though Americans eat a lot of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day as homage to the Irish, it's actually an American adaptation of an Irish staple that doesn't have much to do with St. Patrick's Day. In Ireland, they eat Irish bacon (similar to Canadian Bacon) with their cabbage. Around the late 1800s and early 1900s during an immigration boom, Irish immigrants to the United States couldn't afford bacon. As a substitute for their everyday meal, they ate corned beef (a meat they picked up from their Jewish neighbors) with their cabbage. One might consider corned beef and cabbage the perfect dish for celebrating Irish-American heritage even if it's not a uniquely St. Patrick's Day dish, and it's great for making ahead in a slow cooker.
Irish Stew - Much like corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew has been Americanized to match what Irish immigrants had to work with when they came to the United States. Authentic Irish stew uses lamb and root vegetable because those are items available in Ireland. In the United States, you mostly find Irish stew made with beef. It's not strictly served on St. Patrick's Day, but to honor the Irish, make Irish stew with lamb. To honor Irish-Americans, make Irish stew with the meat that's available to you.
Soda Bread - Soda bread is at just about every Irish meal, not just St. Patrick's Day feasts. Unlike many of the recipes that had to be adapted when Irish immigrants reached the United States, the elements of soda bread have remained unchanged. The ingredients are basic: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. Put this on your Feast of St. Patrick's Day table to make it an authentic Irish meal.
Beer - On St. Patrick's Day in the United States, you'll find a lot of green beer at celebrations, but it's not an Irish tradition. However, that doesn't mean there's no beer for Irish celebrations. St. Patrick's Day revelers in both the United States and Ireland make Guinness the drink of choice for the day. Guinness Draught is brewed only in Ireland (the Extra Stout is brewed and bottled in Canada) so if you want your Irish celebration to be authentic, go with the Guinness Draught. According to Guinness, on St. Patrick's Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are served.
Irish Coffee - Irish coffee did, in fact, originate in Ireland, County Limerick, to be exact. The original recipe contains coffee, Irish whiskey, cream, and brown sugar. There are many interpretations of this recipe; in the United States, it's popular to substitute the cream with Irish cream (cream with a kick). Any way you enjoy it is Irish, especially on St. Patrick's Day.
Even if there's no connection between an American St. Patrick's Day tradition and an Irish tradition, you can still make it part of your holiday celebration. With more than 10% of the American population claiming Irish heritage, you can't go wrong with any degree of Irish authenticity you choose.
LTD can help you make your St. Patrick's Day celebration lively! Whether you need green accessories so you don't get pinched or you need dinnerware to pull off the perfect Feast of St. Patrick, shop LTD Commodities for practical products at practical products.