St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic. – Adrienne Cook
Every year, on March 17th, people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day don their greenest garb, search for four-leaf clovers, eat corn beef and cabbage, dance the Irish jig, march in parades, and search for the leprechaun and his pot of gold. There are many famous Irish sayings and blessings that come to mind. One of my favorites Irish blessings is: “May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.”
Whether you are Irish or not, it can be a joyful occasion for both young and old. As a child, my favorite part of this celebration was wearing a bit of green (so I wouldn’t get pinched). I also delighted in imagining how a leprechaun might appear, as well as hearing the legend of this mythical creature.
Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, there is the expectation of extra revelry. One of the oldest worldwide celebrations is a parade. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States was held in New York City in 1762, which was before the Revolutionary War and prior to its independence. If you’d like to join one in your area, here is a list for every state and throughout the world.
If you prefer to enjoy a quieter celebration, perhaps your family would like to host a gathering that includes educational games and fun-filled activities. You could have a treasure hunt to search for a “pot of gold”. Instead of playing “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, you could have a geography lesson by pinning the country of Ireland onto a map of Europe.
Playing group games can be a lot of fun, too. Here are the rules for “Leprechaun, Leprechaun! Where’s Your Shamrock?”
- One child is the leprechaun, who sits in the middle of the circle with eyes closed.
- One of the children in the circle hides the shamrock behind his/her back. It’s suggested to have an adult distribute the shamrock so everyone gets a turn.
- Circle children say: “Leprechaun, Leprechaun! Where’s your shamrock? Somebody has it in their pocket! Guess who? Maybe you? Maybe a monkey from the zoo! Come on, Leprechaun, find your shamrock.”.
- Leprechaun opens eyes and has 3 guesses as to who has the shamrock.
- Child with the shamrock becomes the next leprechaun.
A St. Patrick’s Day gathering could also include a healthy green treat, such as a Mint Patty Shake that will delight the palette of all your guests. Here is a simple recipe:
- 1⁄2 cup refrigerated coconut milk
- 1 pint mint chip ice cream
- 2 cups packed baby kale
In a blender, combine coconut milk, ice cream, and kale. Cover and blend until smooth. (Makes 2 – 8 oz. servings)
While you are sipping on your green beverage, you could share some St. Patrick Day jokes and riddles:
Q: Where can leprechauns always find gold on St. Patty’s Day?
A: In the dictionary!
Q: Why are leprechauns so concerned about global warming?
A: They’re really into green living.
Here’s a few more theme-related riddles and jokes, just for the fun of it!
At the end of the festive day, you might enjoy reading some special books about St. Patrick’s Day. The site, Fireflies + Mud Pies, has an excellent source of books that will be a delight to story readers and listeners, alike.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!