by Ariel Finkle
It might not seem like I’m the best person to teach you about this holiday, given that I don’t have an Irish last name and that I’m not even Christian, but I am 1% Irish so…..take that.
But seriously, Saint Patrick’s Day has been celebrated by Americans for hundreds of years, regardless of whether or not they come from the Emerald Isle. This year, the holiday will fall on a Saturday (and in the middle of a long weekend!) so you have all day or even all weekend to party. These are some ways that you can celebrate right here in Rhode Island.
- Learn the legend behind it
Saint Patrick’s Day is in honor of, well, Saint Patrick, the man who became the patron saint of Ireland. So why not learn about the person you’re celebrating? There are plenty of legends and stories about him that you can read online.
The most famous legend about Saint Patrick is how he drove the snakes out of Ireland and into the ocean to drown. However, historical accounts show that there were never any snakes in Ireland directly before or after Saint Patrick was in the country. Due to this, it’s believed that the “snakes” he drove out were either un-Christian sinners or pagan Druids who thought snakes were sacred animals.
- Wear shamrocks or shamrock themed clothing
Shamrocks are so important on March 17th because, according to legend, Saint Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. On this day, people either wear shamrock patterned clothes or pin real shamrocks to their shirts. Four-leafed clovers are also popular to wear, even though they’re a lot harder to find.
- Listen to Irish music
There are lots of good Irish artists out there who make both traditional and modern pop music. You can check out covers of Irish standards like “Danny Boy,” “Greensleeves,” or “The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond.” If those songs don’t butter your Irish soda bread, you can listen to more recent artists like Ed Sheeran, Enya, or the Dropkick Murphys, all of which have Irish heritage.
- Go to Gregg’s for their traditional 3/17 menu
Gregg’s Saint Patrick’s Day specials have been an annual tradition in Rhode Island for years now. And this year, they’re back again! Go to your nearest Gregg’s and order their corned beef and cabbage special, or even a Saint Paddy’s Day themed dessert if you have the room for it.
(Gregg’s isn’t paying me to say this, I swear.)
((Gregg’s, give me free stuff.))
- Go to McDonald’s for their Shamrock Shake
Guess what else is back? McDonald’s bright green mint milkshake for the entire month of March! It’d be the most appropriate to drink yours on the 17th, though.
(McDonald’s, give me free stuff too.)
And there you have it: five ways to ring in Saint Patrick’s Day without having to leave the state of Rhode Island. Happy celebrating!