St. Patrick’s Day commemorates its namesake; the patron saint of Ireland who helped spread Christianity across this island nation. While it may have begun as a religious holiday, eventually the fanfare expanded to transform St. Patrick’s Day into a secular celebration spanning the world – reaching Irish diaspora in various countries. In fact, some of the largest St. Patrick’s Day events occur outside of Ireland.
In addition to paying homage to St. Patrick, the holiday is largely known for being one big party catering to the over-21 crowd. It’s common to find people raising pints throughout the day on St. Patrick’s Day. However, for those who want children to be a part of the festivities, there are plenty of entertaining ways to incorporate them into any celebration.
Attend a parade
Parades are a common sight come St. Patrick’s Day, and they’re ideal activities for children. If a nearby town or city is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day parade this year, make plans to attend with the children. Follow safety precautions, including remaining socially distant, when necessary, and watch the floats, pipers, colorfully clad characters, and other participants go by.
Serve child-friendly beverages
For those hosting St. Patrick’s Day at home, be sure to have a variety of foods and beverages on hand, particularly ones that children can enjoy. Whip up your own concoction like a Leprechaun Punch that features lemon-lime soda, green food coloring and lime sherbet.
Learn St. Patrick’s history
Children may not realize that St. Patrick, even though he is the patron saint of Ireland, actually was born in Britain, according to National Geographic Kids. Also, he wasn’t always associated with the color green; he was first depicted wearing blue robes. These are just some of the facts adults and children can explore together.
St. Patrick used a three-leaf clover, or shamrock, to explain the basic tenets of Christianity. The three-leaf clover represented the Holy Trinity. If St. Patrick’s Day falls on a nice day, everyone can venture outside to collect shamrocks and hunt for the elusive four-leaf clover, which may bring good luck.
Get dressed up
Children can have fun dressing up in all sorts of apparel. While green shirts are par for the course, kids also can don rugby or soccer shirts from their favorite Irish teams. Authentic Irish Aran wool sweaters and cardigans, or other traditional clothing, also can be worn. Kids may have fun making masks or hats they can wear as well.