Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the world observe St. Patrick’s Day. This day marks the accepted date in 493 CE of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. While his tale is mostly based on his missionary work to convert Ireland to Christianity, the day has also inspired folklore, such as shamrocks and leprechauns. The shamrock’s association with St. Patrick’s Day comes from the popular myth stating that St. Patrick used the three leaves of the plant to explain Catholicism’s holy trinity to the Irish. What began as a religious celebration has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods, and a whole lot of green. Cities around the world hold St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivals to mark the occasion, with many people participating in the “wearing of the green”. Popularized by Irish immigrant communities, festivities usually include traditional Irish food and drink.
St. Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate another culture with food and crafts with the wee ones in your household. Enjoy traditional Irish meals such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, shepherd’s pie, and Irish stew. For 20 traditional Irish recipes that are sure to get your mouth watering, visit the Food.com. For not so traditional Irish recipes, but tasty themed treats to get everyone in the festive spirit, enjoy a rainbow cupcake, pot of gold soup, or clover cookies.
Now that you have sampled a little taste of Irish culture, work up a sweat with Irish-themed games. A St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt featured on Moonfrye.com is easy and fun to make, and even more fun to play. Create the “gold” pieces by painting rocks gold, shake on some gold glitter with the help of adhesive glue and then hide the treasure around the house or backyard for your little leprechauns to collect. Best of all, no gold chocolate coins required. Just good old fashion fun that’s an over the rainbow, pot of gold, good time!
May you have the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day holiday!
MaryAnn Viviano, Business Operations Director, has been with Kidspace Children’s Museum since 2004. Prior experience includes working for the American Red Cross after receiving a BA in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.