5 Ways To Celebrate St. Patricks Day

St. Patrick's Day on March 17th pays tribute to Ireland's patron saint - and to the vitality of Irish culture in Ireland and around the world. It's a jubilant time to gather with Irish men and women, and those who are Irish at heart. We offer five ways you can celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year.

1. Wear the shamrock – then drown it.

Get in the spirit of the day and embrace the Irish tradition of wearing a sprig of shamrock. Long a symbol of Ireland, legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity as he converted the Irish to Christianity. Traditionally, at the end of the celebrations on St. Patrick’s day, the plant would be dropped in a glass of whiskey or beer, “drowning the shamrock”.

2. Attend a parade.

More than half a million people line up to view the color and spectacle of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year. The culmination of the city’s five-day St. Patrick’s Day Festival, it’s full of floats, marching bands, and excitement. If you can’t make it to Dublin, not to worry! There are now St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world, including in cities as far-flung as Sydney, Moscow, Tokyo, Buenos Aires. The biggest of them all of course, is New York City’s, which began in 1762 and today is watched by millions.

3. Take the day off work.

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday for celebrations with family and friends. Elsewhere in the world, you’ll have to take the day off to start the festivities before evening. Here’s an interesting fact about St. Patrick’s Day in Morristown, NJ – the home base of CIE Tours in the US: St. Patrick’s Day was declared a holiday in 1780 by no less than George Washington. The future president and then military commander of the Continental Army gave all his troops the day off to raise their spirits after a hard winter. Perhaps you might encourage your boss to follow Washington’s lead this year.

4. Embrace the green!

Major tourism sites and landmark buildings around the world are joining Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” effort, by literally “going green”, as they are lit up in green lighting. Some of the most iconic sites that go green every year include the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, the Moulin Rouge in Paris (or the “Moulin Vert” for the day), Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House, Burj al Arab in Dubai, the Chain Bridge in Budapest, and the London Eye. This year, the program is bigger than ever, and will include some quirkier sites: Madison Square Garden in New York, the world’s largest beaver statue in Beaverlodge, in Alberta, Canada; a giant statue of a kissing couple in Amsterdam; the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England; Caerphilly Castle in Wales; the Dubai Frame, and the Smurf Statue in Brussels.

5. Celebrate St. Patricks Day in Dublin!

The best way to truly embrace St. Patrick’s Day is to book a CIE Tours trip to Ireland. Plan ahead to next year, and you could be in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day! CIE Tours will give guests enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour on the day of the parade, and a private party just for our guests at Ireland’s most historic building, the GPO, right on the parade route, plus an exclusive viewing area at the best spot in town!