Are you planning to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this Sunday?
St Patrick’s Day is traditionally a religious occasion to honour the patron saint of Ireland. But it is now widely observed all over the world as a celebration of Irish heritage and culture.
One in 10 people in the UK are thought to have at least one Irish grandparent and even more can trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle. Large parades are held in cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh and many smaller festivities will be taking place in Irish pubs.
But if you want to avoid bustling crowds and pricey Guinness, you can have plenty of fun for St Patrick’s Day without even having to leave your home. Hosting your own gathering is a great way to reconnect with family and friends and celebrate whatever links you have to our Irish heritage.
Here’s our La-Z-Boy guide to throwing the perfect DIY St Patrick’s Day party:
You can give your living room a St Patrick’s Day makeover quite easily by lining your room with green streamers, adding some green balloons and sprinkling green table confetti on your surfaces. If you really want to embrace the Irish theme, you could also add some flags and shamrocks – the three-lobed leaf (not to be mistaken with the four-leaved clover) which is the unofficial symbol of Ireland and was used by St Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity. If you are setting out a table for food, one simple way to get it party-ready is to set it in Ireland’s national colours of green, white and orange. Cover the table in a green tablecloth, then add white plates and orange napkins to complete the theme.
There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to Irish food and drink. Stock up with Guinness or Murphy’s and if your guests might want something stronger, you may want to offer them some whiskey (make sure you don’t confuse it with whisky from Scotland). When it comes to food, you could whip up an Irish stew and buy some soda bread to accompany it. One of the big advantages of making stew is you can cook it slowly and do all the preparations the day before if necessary and it is easy to adjust the amounts depending on how many people will be eating. Most Irish stews are made with lamb, carrot, onions, potatoes and good quality stock but there are lots of different recipes to choose from. For dessert, a traditional apple pie is likely to go down well, followed by an Irish coffee or some Baileys.
Make a sweet pot of gold centrepiece by filling a large container with chocolate coins that your guests can help themselves to. If you have a cauldron left over from Halloween, that would make a perfect pot or you could have a go at making one using papier mache.
To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, there’s no need to worry about any elaborate or unusual entertainment. The art of conversation is still very much alive and well in Ireland so take time to relax, get comfy on your sofa or armchair and have a good old chat with your guests. You might want to play some folk music in the background or if you prefer something a bit more modern, why not listen to your favourite Irish bands instead.