Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day will be very different this year, with no large gatherings, parades, or dancing in the streets.
Many had planned trips to Ireland for this special day, which unfortunately needed to be canceled.
March 17th will be a much more sedate affair this year, with the annual global greening in honor of Ireland and Saint Patrick taking a back seat, as the world faces this pandemic crisis together.
We must all embrace the challenges of social distancing - definitely not a feature of our Irish partying ways, in years gone by.
We are a social people, but when it comes to the safety of others, and the health of our families, we are resilient, determined, and powerful. I am confident we will work together by staying apart through the difficult times ahead.
However, staying at home with children poses its own challenges. We need activities and fun things to do, to keep their busy minds occupied, and their energetic bodies active.
Do you need new ideas to help you celebrate your Irish heritage indoors on this important day?
If so, here's a short video with some ideas...
- to help you entertain your little ones indoors this year,
- to honor your Irish heritage,
- and to put your feet up at the end of a long day being cooped up inside.
Let's explore some more of these ideas. I hope you enjoy this list and find it helpful.
Wear Something Green:
We wear green on St. Patrick’s Day as a mark of honor and respect for Ireland and Saint Patrick. The Society of United Irishmen who rebelled against the English Crown in 1798, adopted green as its representative color. They wore green ribbons and clothing, and attached shamrock to their coats as a sign of their Irishness.
An old Irish street ballad entitled, "The Wearing of the Green" laments the repression of the United Irishmen. Here's a little snippet..
"Oh, Paddy dear, and did you hear
The news that's going round?
The shamrock is forbid by law
To grow on Irish ground!
St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep,
His color can't be seen,
For there's a bloomin' law agin'
The wearing of the green."
~ Old Irish Air
These lyrics definitely explain why Irish people proudly wear green on Saint Patrick's Day to show their patriotism.
But there's also a magical reason for donning any of Ireland's forty shades of green. It's believed you become invisible to leprechauns when wearing our national color.
Even though we need to stay home this year, 2020, and cannot parade our Irish gear through the streets of Ireland and America, do try to wear a little green around the house.
Nail polish, green shoes, dyed green hair, a little emerald jewelry or bling, hair accessories, sun glasses, masks or T-shirts - anything green will do the trick.
Watch An Irish Movie:
Since a day at home is on the cards this year, watching an Irish movie from the comfort of your couch, is a great way to explore your Irish heritage and learn about our culture.
There are many movies to choose from, including hard-hitting dramas, hilarious comedies, old classics, or animated children's films.
In Ireland people tend not to say 'movie' but instead use the word 'film.'
Trust me Ireland has produced more than a few gems of films in recent years, and some of the old classics will never grow old.
My favorites include:
- The Quiet Man (1952)
- The Commitments (1991)
- The Field (1990)
- Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)
- The Secret of Kells (2009)
There are many, many more Irish movies worth watching, but we'll have to explore that topic on another day.
Make a Saint Patrick's Day Craft:
Simple paper crafts are wonderful to keep kids busy letting their creative juices flow.
Greeting cards are easy to make by adding cut out pictures to a folded piece of card.
To help out this year, I've created a sheet of leprechaun and Irish themed images for little ones to use as they design and create their very own Irish masterpieces.
Remember to only give safety scissors to little ones, if they're going to cut out these shapes.
Feel free to print as many copies of these sheets as you need, to keep your crew entertained.
Have Fun Sharing Saint Patrick's Day Jokes:
I bet Saint Patrick himself was a good man for the jokes (clean ones of course, because he is a saint after all.)
A few leprechaun jokes are perfect for getting young ones laughing and having a bit of fun, especially when they're cooped up indoors.
Here's a little collection of jokes I put together, which I think are clean enough, even for Saint Patrick.
When I designed this printable I added some guiding cutting lines. My thinking was they could be printed, then cut up for hiding in lunch boxes in the run up to Saint Patrick's Day.
Since most kids are off school this year, you could cut up these jokes and hide them around the house as part of a scavenger hunt. Which leads onto my next suggestion for indoor Irish activities....
Enjoy A Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt:
Scavenger hunts can be ever so exciting when little ones believe they are hot on the tails of a real Irish leprechaun.
The purpose of the hunt is to track down a mischievous leprechaun, who leaves hidden treasures all around the house or back yard.
Treasures can be simple. Little bags of lucky charms, marshmallows, golden coins, candy, leprechaun jokes, or even real money. Anything goes for this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You can leave leprechaun feet around the house to help little ones trace his footsteps. Here's a free printable to help you out.
Or maybe you might enjoy some other Leprechaun Tricks And Pranks For St. Patrick’s Day, which we explored in a blog post a few years back.
Read Irish Books Or Poetry Together:
Ireland is known as the Land of Saints and Scholars (you can learn about the many other names for Ireland here) and Irish writers and poets are renowned all over the world.
Why not read some Irish poems together this Saint Patrick's Day?
There is no shortage of poets to choose from. William Butler Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh are two of my favorite Irish poets. Why not check out some Irish poetry we've explored in the past.
Irish book reviews are often featured on this blog, so feel free to explore some of my recommendations.
Plus I found this wonderful round up of Saint Patrick's Day Picture Books. Leslie and Katie from Learning Through Literature, also developed a wonderful free learning guide for young readers.
Write Some Hilarious And Quirky Limericks:
Have you ever tried your hand at composing a Limerick?
You know! Those short, five-line verses that follow a strict rhythm and rhyming pattern, that sometimes can be very, very funny.
Have you ever wondered how limericks, those quirky rhyming ditties, were named after one of Ireland’s counties?
If you'd like to explore the history of limericks, and their associations with Ireland, then my post, "What is a Limerick?" is perfect.
With all that is happening around the globe today, I like the idea of taking a few moments to say a prayer together on Saint Patrick's Day.
Why not pray for the world, for those who are sick and dying, and for God's protection from harm?
Here's a lovely Irish saying for inspiration.
If you like this graphic, you can check out my blog post, An Irish Family Prayer, where I share this printable.
You'll find links for portrait and landscape cards, and for a US letter size printable. I hope you'll like them.
Read Saint Patrick's Breastplate:
If you'd like some inspiration for a suitable prayer for today, why not check out the Breastplate of Saint Patrick.
This is a litany or invocation, which is said to have been written by Saint Patrick in the year 433 A.D. Through the verses of this lorica, our patron saint appealed for divine protection.
St. Patrick’s spirituality shines through the lyrical words of this old Irish prayer.
His words are still relevant today, and are a wonderful way of asking for God’s help and protection.
Play Irish Music:
Have you ever listened to the rhythmic beats of a reel or a jig, and managed not to tap your feet? Irish music is a deeply resonant, rhythmic, and beautiful expression of our unique culture.
So this Saint Patrick's Day, why not listen to some Irish tunes?
From ballads to drum beats, folk songs to rock bands, and wailing pipes to flying fiddle bows, Irish music is magical. I recommend you start clapping your hands and tapping your toes this year, to let some Irish music revive your soul.
Explore Your Irish Heritage And The History Of Saint Patrick:
We love to explore our Irish heritage in this little corner of the internet. Over the years I have written many posts about Saint Patrick and Irish culture which you might enjoy reading again.
Here are some links for exploring our cultural inheritance once again this year.
If you're new to this blog, but enjoy exploring your Irish heritage, check out this post about our Irish American Mom community.
A Treat At Close Of Day:
And when your day is done, and the kids are worn out from scavenger hunts, chasing leprechauns, writing limericks, and creating their very own Irish greeting cards, sit down and put your feet up.
Treat yourself to an Irish Cofee.
Or maybe you'd prefer a hot toddy to revive your spirits...
Or if you're like me, a simple cuppa tea and a slice of Kerry apple cake, will do the trick.
Sit back and relax for a moment, recharge your batteries, and simply breathe, because we'll be running on overdrive for the coming weeks.
My Prayer For You:
And so, this Saint Patrick's Day my prayer for you, is that you will stay safe and healthy, and enjoy celebrating our national holiday, even if it is in a more low key manner than usual.
If you too will be staying home to celebrate, I hope you'll discover new and innovative ways to honor our Irish heritage. I raise my glass to all of you, the wonderful readers of Irish American Mom.
Together we'll commemorate Saint Patrick from the comfort and safety of our own homes, knowing that in doing so, we're protecting those at greatest risk.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Here are some more posts you might enjoy...
- Green Grape Snake Snacks For Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day
- Create Your Own Paper Leprechaun For Saint Patrick's Day
- Saint Patrick's Day Skip Counting Game
- Free Printable Color Sort Game For Saint Patrick's Day
- Irish Themed Aprons For The Cooks In Your Life
- Irish Breads For St. Patrick's Day
- Everything You Should Know About The Book of Kells
- Ireland - A Land of Trees In The Time Of Saint Patrick