After 2020, we could all use a little luck in our lives. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, do something fun with family or friends by cooking an Irish-inspired meal, decorating the house with leprechauns and shamrocks and playing some festive games.
The Greeley Tribune has compiled a list of some Irish recipes, as well as ideas for St. Patrick’s Day crafts and games that the entire family can participate in.
But first, let’s take a peek at the history of St. Patrick’s Day and why it’s important to the Irish culture.
St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday in Ireland that includes attending church in the morning with celebrations taking place in the afternoon. Some of the customary items that can be seen during festivities include beer and meals of Irish bacon and cabbage, soda bread and lamb stews.
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and lived during the fifth century. According to History.com, St. Patrick was originally born in Britain, but was kidnapped at age 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. Though he later escaped, St. Patrick returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country.
As Irish immigrants came to America, their tradition of St. Patrick’s Day followed.
Chicago, New York City and Boston are well known for celebrating the holiday with parades, bagpipe performances, green beer, wearing green clothing and dying rivers green.
In Greeley, the city hosts an annual Blarney on the Block that includes a parade and other festivities. However, due to the pandemic, organizers have canceled the 2021 event.
Despite the lack of events, laddies and lasses of all ages can still celebrate the day with games, crafts and food.
Whip up some corned beef with potatoes and cabbage for the family. While it’s not the most authentic Irish dish, it is authentically Irish-American and has certainly gained popularity in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the U.S. For the recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3tkuQ8P.
Keep the kids busy looking for elusive leprechauns and their pots of gold with some fun rainbow binoculars made out of toilet paper rolls, construction paper and tape. The ease of this craft makes it great for kids of all ages, especially the younger ones. For the full set of instructions, go to http://bit.ly/3esf87m.
Baileys Irish Cream floats are a fun combo of ice cream and adult beverages rolled into one. The dessert drink combines ice cream with Guinness beer, chocolate syrup and Baileys Irish Cream. For the full recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3vb4B6g.
No Irish meal is complete without soda bread. Soda bread is quick to make and pairs well with all kinds of soups, stews or corned beef and cabbage. For the recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3cnMCRq.
Break out the sugar cookie dough and have a shamrock-decorating contest. The winner of the contest not only gets bragging rights, but a bag of chocolate gold coins.
A party just isn’t a party without confetti. Make some lucky confetti poppers with strips of green and white paper, lucky clovers and little bits of gold sparkle. For complete instructions, go to http://bit.ly/3rCm59k.
You can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without some sort of green beverage. Add a few drops of green food coloring to your favorite beer, or Sprite or 7Up for the kids, and raise a toast to the U.S.’s Irish immigrants.
Not a fan of corned beef and cabbage? Then opt for an Irish beef stew with fresh potatoes and carrots, Guinness beer and beef. For a more traditional version, substitute lamb for beef. For the full recipe, go to http://bit.ly/38sgIlK.
Play a round or two of pin the shamrock on the leprechaun. Print out your own leprechaun and shamrocks to cut out, grab a blindfold and let the games begin. To download a copy of the game pieces, go to http://bit.ly/3vbHJDM.
Shamrock sours are a fun twist on the classic whiskey sour. With just a few drops of green food coloring added to your favorite Irish whiskey, along with some lime and lemon juice and simple syrup, you have a great festive drink for those who prefer something other than beer. For the full recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3rFungQ.
Decorate your home with leprechaun art made from paper plates. Grab some paper plates, green and black construction paper and orange paint and you are set! For more information, go to http://bit.ly/3bAdte8.
Skip the green cookies or rainbow cupcakes and make an Irish apple cake with custard for a change of pace. The tender cake is filled with sweet apples and topped off with a warm creamy custard that is sure to please every leprechaun in the house. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/3t7UKfL.
Pick up a box of Lucky Charms cereal, give everyone a bowl and spoon and see how many lucky charms they can pick out within a certain time limit. For older adults and kids, ramp the competition up a notch by giving each charm a different point value.
Irish whiskey and Mexican reposado tequila come together to create Irish Margaritas. The unique combination of liquid and the vibrant color is sure to be a hit at any St. Patrick’s Day party. For the recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3vfttK0.
Finger paint rainbows with pots of gold beneath for a fun activity for adults and kids. Hang their created pieces around the house in celebration of good luck. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/3cnkj5N.
Irish nachos are a different twist on the favorite Mexican dish by substituting potatoes for the chips and adding bacon and green onions. This dish is a great appetizer or snack for a full afternoon filled with hunting pots o’ gold. For the full recipe, go to http://bit.ly/38tphN1.
Jameson Whiskey Jello shots are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day parties and will add some jiggle to party guests’ giggles. Just be sure to keep them out of reach of the kids! For the recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3ciz1ed.
Pot of gold mason jars are a great way to create a treasure hunt for the entire family. Take a mason jar, or any other jar, and fill it with chocolate gold coins. Add a fun note and hide it inside or outside. Then set the family out to find the treasure.
Whip up the Irish version of loaded mashed potatoes by making colcannon. This traditional Irish dish pairs together Yukon Gold potatoes, leeks, cabbage, kale and other items for a nutrient and savory side. For the full recipe, go to http://bit.ly/3rAbuvN.
Irish Flag Shots are a fun layered cocktail featuring green creme de menthe, Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier. Not only will this drink impress your party guests, it’s a tasty addition to your cocktail menu. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/2OGe5Wm.