6 fun St Patrick’s Day activities

22 Feb 2022

Celebrations Events

Celebrate the biggest holiday on the Emerald Isle with these St Patrick’s Day activities

St Patrick’s Day occurs on the 17th of March every year. The religious holiday is a core part of Irish culture that has become a vibrant, widespread celebration. From edible treats and delicious drinks to trivia and traditional music, here are some fun St Patrick’s Day activities to mark the occasion this March.

Plate of shamrock cookies and an Irish coffee with cream

Why do we celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

Before we get into St Patrick’s Day activities, do you know the history of the holiday?

St Paddy’s celebrations date back to the 10th century, in honour of St Patrick, a missionary and bishop who lived in the 5th century. St Patrick was born in Roman Britain but was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16. He escaped, then later returned to Ireland, bringing Christian ideology with him. St Patrick would go on to become Ireland’s patron saint and, after his death, stories of his life would become central to Irish culture.

From around 900AD, people in Ireland began to observe the anniversary of St Patrick’s death, the 17th of March, with a big feast. Later, in 1601, the first St Patrick’s Day parade took place — interestingly, this was not in Ireland, but in America.

Celebrations grew over the next couple of hundred years, with the largest St Paddy’s parades happening in New York. The New York parade happened every year until 2020 and 2021 when it had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parade is set to return in March 2022!

St Patrick’s Day activities ideas

As well as marching in parades and gathering with loved ones for a feast, there are many ways people celebrate St Patrick’s around the world. Traditions include wearing green, drinking classic Irish tipples, and decorating with iconic Irish symbols and the national flag.

Here are some entertaining and creative St Patrick’s Day activities to try.

1. Listen to Irish folk music

Show appreciation for the wealth of fantastic music that Irish artists have to offer. If you get the chance to see a live performance from an Irish folk band, this can be a great way to experience the country’s traditional musical style.

If not, you can always set up a playlist to listen to at home. The likes of The Dubliners, Dervish, and Planxty showcase the beauty of instruments including the fiddle, banjo, bodhrán, and uilleann pipes. These bands are sure to get your feet tapping!

Closeup of a violinist

2. Bake some St Patrick’s Day biscuits

Any holiday celebration calls for baked goods, and St Patrick’s Day is no exception — especially if you’re hosting for friends. Sweet, crunchy sugar cookies are ideal to nibble on throughout the day.

Add a St Paddy’s twist by cutting your biscuits into quintessential Irish shapes. Shamrocks, rainbows, and lucky horseshoes are nice and easy and you can readily buy cookie cutters in these shapes. If you want to flex your creativity, you can get as extravagant as you fancy with your decoration. Green and gold icing, edible glitter, or rainbow sprinkles are sure to add that extra finishing touch.

Alternatively, you could give your cookies an element of cacao sophistication with a rich white chocolate ganache. Stir in a drop of green food colouring for that seasonal vibe — just don’t forget to use top-quality white chocolate with a high cacao butter content to get the smoothest results.

3. Make some delicious chocolate shamrocks

Another excellent way to decorate your cookies — or to enjoy as standalone treats — is to create some irresistible chocolate shamrocks. These cute, solid chocolate shapes are quick and easy to make, and rather moreish!

If you fancy making St Patrick’s Day party favours for friends and loved ones, you can present these in a little box or wrap them individually in foil.

To make your chocolate shamrocks, you’ll need:

  • Chocolate of your choice (you can go for white, milk, or dark chocolate — just ensure it’s good quality)
  • A shamrock chocolate or candy mould (we like these chocolate lollipop moulds from Home Chocolate Factory)
  • A heatproof bowl for melting

Start by melting your chocolate. You can use a bain-marie or a microwave, but be careful not to burn your chocolate — follow our guide on melting chocolate to get flawless results.

Then, pour the chocolate into your moulds and let them chill. You could also use a piping bag or squeeze bottle to draw your chocolate shapes onto some greaseproof paper.

4. Whip up some St Patrick’s Day drinks

If you fancy a little tipple this St Paddy’s Day, then you’re in for a treat. Cocktail making can be a fabulous St Patrick’s Day activity to do with friends.

  • Why not give this vibrant Luck of the Irish cocktail from the Purple Pumpkin Blog a go? Made from Irish whiskey, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, it packs a punch and has a bit of green food colouring to give it that luminous colour.
  • For something a little lighter, this refreshing Apple Prosecco Punch could be ideal. We think our Classic Prosecco has just the right clean and balanced profile for this mix. Its delicate floral notes pair perfectly with the cloudy apple juice and squeeze of lemon.
  • Of course, we couldn’t mention St Patrick’s Day drinks without recommending a delectable, smooth Irish coffee. Traditionally, an Irish coffee pairs espresso with whiskey, which is then topped with a decadent layer of whipped cream. But for a truly luxurious option, we suggest adding a generous glug of Velvetised Chocolate Cream to a freshly brewed cup of Rabot Estate Coffee. With its silky-smooth texture, chocolatey notes, and delightfully reviving aroma, it’s sure to go down a treat.
Irish coffee in a glass

5. Host a St Paddy’s quiz

Who doesn’t love a themed quiz? Why not get your friends together, serve your delicious St Patrick’s Day drinks and test their trivia? Look for a range of questions about Ireland’s history and culture. You could even host a virtual quiz for loved ones who live far away.

6. Visit the Emerald Isle

If you want to make this St Paddy’s Day extra special, consider a trip to Ireland. There’s nothing quite like experiencing the fresh air of the Donegal coast or exploring the bustle of Dublin city centre.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Which of these St Patrick’s Day activities do you think you’ll try? However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful, festive time.