A big part of studying abroad is immersing yourself in the local culture. This weekend, what better way to do that than by joining the St Patrick’s Day festivities?
You’ve probably caught onto the green theme by now. And you’ve probably heard the reputation some universities have for turning this day to honour the Irish heritage into one that honours the Irish beverage instead.
But this is a day that is about so much more than just downing Guinnesses. It’s a tribute to the patron saint of Ireland, the Irish immigrants who fled the potato famine, the families who rebuilt their lives elsewhere from scratch – it’s a day of shamrocks, yes, but also determination, resilience and culture.
So what can you do to soak all this up? Everyone has their own interpretation of St Patrick’s Day and luckily for us, this means many more reasons and ways to celebrate this weekend. Here are five ways you can be Irish for one day:
1. A pub crawl
If you like free bar entry, drink deals and green goodies for a very affordable price, a pub crawl is your calling. Alongside a group of inebriated adults, you’ll have plenty of Irish cheer to go about. For better or worse, the London Party Pub Crawl even throws in a photographer to capture all the magic (or embarassing?!) moments all night long. Go all out, but remember, always drink responsibly!
2. Green architecture
If waking up with a hangover isn’t your cup of tea (or if you’ve got an 8am class the next day) here’s a more subdued, but infinitely classier option. Go on a tour of all the beautiful architecture in your host city, which will usually be bathed in fluorescent green, ie. very Instagrammable. Sydney’s Opera House is turning green, as is the Chicago River (yup, dyed green!), Rio’s Christ the Redeemer, Rome’s Colosseum, New York’s Empire State Building and even the White House Fountain.
3. Watch a parade!
Parades date back hundreds of years. From Dublin to Savannah and even Montreal, get prepared to see marching bands, bagpipes, giant floats, local residents and many green people taking part in street parties.
4. Irish-themed feast
Delicious possibilities abound for this holiday celebration. Start as early as breakfast with corned beef hash followed with a lunch or dinner of Guinness stew (opt for a vegetarian one if you don’t eat meat) and colcannon (Irish potatoes and cabbage). This will be one memorable food coma!
5. Join an Irish club
Many university’s host Irish Clubs that will probably holding an event in honour of St Paddy’s. Get to know new people, learn about Irish culture and even take on some Riverdance moves!