TAKE 5

5 ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

By Suzanne Pacey
Posted

St. Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on the 17th of March, and named in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. The festival commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. St. Patrick's Day is now celebrated by many people throughout the world, Irish and non-Irish alike, with food, drink and all things green. Here are some guidelines on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Irish-style!

1. Go green.
Unless you want to, you don't have to wear a sweater with a giant shamrock on it. Accessorize. Buttons, pins and jewelry are all great ways to dress up an outfit. On St. Patrick's Day, they become ways to express the fun side of fashion. Nothing is too gaudy or outlandish.

2. Learn some Irish words and phrases.
The Irish have their own distinct dialect of the English language, so if you want to sound like a true Paddy on St. Patrick's day, try sprinkling some of these Hiberno-English gems into your conversation. Or even better Learn to Irish Dance. Irish dancing is a form of step dancing which is popular both in Ireland and all over the world. Not only will it impress everyone you know, but it's also a fun way to increase flexibility and burn calories!

3. Eat traditional Irish food.
Beer and spirits are not the only great consumable goods to come out of Ireland. Corned beef, cabbage and lamb stew accompanied by traditional Irish soda bread are tasty ways to "keep it real." Potatoes are about as Irish as you can get and are one of the staples of the Irish diet.

4. Attend or get involved in local parades.
If you can't make it to the five-day festival in Dublin, Ireland, check out the scene locally. Many parades feature the best of local dance troupes, marching bands, gymnasts and musicians in addition to spectacular themed floats and brightly costumed participants. You can enjoy the parade as a spectator or contact your local parade organization committee to get involved.  

5. Check out the pub scene
Most bars and pubs love St. Patrick's Day, as it's one of the few holidays known for a marked increase in alcohol consumption, so many will be catering to patrons with a festive St. Patrick's theme. You may find special prices on draft beer, food and cover charges. Call around to your favorite joints and ask if they have any celebration plans.  ■

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This month's issue

Farrah Haidar, left, and Hala Yassine, are two of the seven sisters involved in Seven Sisters Scones in Johns Creek, offering their customers a modern take on a traditional breakfast treat.
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