For a non-drinker or someone simply wishing to abstain from alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day, the options for fun celebrations can seem a bit sparse. Many people—in the United States, at least—link St. Patrick’s Day and booze like peanut butter and jelly. How can one exist without the other?
Easily, it turns out. You can have an enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day without a drop of Guinness or Irish whisky. Here are some ideas to consider.
Get in the spirit with some festive crafts and decorations
Whether you’re having a party and want some festive decorations to show off or you simply want to liven up your home and work on some crafts with the kids, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity to stretch your artistic legs. Turn mason jars into green, luminous masterpieces. Make a DIY yarn wreath. Or simply get out your green paint and use your imagination. Check here for some great craft ideas.
Learn about the history
History? On a holiday? When it comes to St. Patrick and the history of his celebration—you bet. The story behind the holiday is a truly interesting one, and it’s filled with stuff that you probably don’t know. For instance, did you know that St. Patrick was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was just 16 years old? Do you know what he’s famous for? Did you know that the holiday is over 1,000 years old? Check out this resource for a ton of St. Patrick’s Day trivia and impress your friends at your party.
Eat and then eat some more
Ireland is known for its hearty, locally sourced cuisine. If you think that it’s all potatoes, then you’re just plain wrong (though there are some stunning traditional potato dishes to consider). The country’s rich countryside gives way to great meat dishes of lamb, beef, and pork. It also boasts miles of coastline, so fish and oysters are also on the menu. Ireland is known for its tasty soups and stews, as well as its fresh breads and oat dishes. Check here for a few dozen great recipes to make this St. Patrick’s Day.
Enjoy some Irish culture
Ireland has given us a lot in terms of popular culture, from movies and TV, to books and music. Partake in some classic Irish cinema with the family and friends by screening “The Commitments,” “My Left Foot,” or “The Quiet Man.” Jam to some Van Morrison, U2, Sinead O’Connor, Enya, or The Cranberries. And then finish off the night by winding down with the writings of Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, or one of these amazing modern Irish authors.
Plan a trip
Have you visited Ireland yet? St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to kick yourself into gear and get moving on the vacation you’ve always wanted to take but could never get the ball rolling on. Ireland is one of the most naturally diverse countries on the planet, with hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, coastlines, amazing cliffs, and forests. It is chock-full of history and culture as well. Ireland is still a financially feasible travel destination, but it’s certainly more popular (and thus, a little more expensive) than a decade ago. Make sure you check out these tips on planning an affordable Irish getaway before you book your tickets.
In Ireland, people are known to enjoy a good pint on St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s nowhere near the all-day drink-a-thon it is here for many in the States. In fact, it’s a more reverent affair with deep cultural and religious significance. Know that if you’re choosing to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day sober, you’re not alone! And you may be more in line with tradition than your green beer-guzzling neighbor.
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Article credit to: Sarah Lockwood
Sarah co-created The Prevention Coalition to provide an online forum for people seeking information about substance abuse. Ms. Lockwood is a retired social worker. Today, she writes for The Prevention Coalition.