Darina Hynes, our Accommodation Manager at iQ Kingston, is here to educate us all about St Patrick's Day...
St. Patrick's day falls on March 17th every year. This year it's a Tuesday. Great news if you’re in Ireland, it’s a national holiday! But if you’re not planning on heading to the land of Eire to celebrate, then you need to know where to go. Everything Irish is fast paced (have you ever seen a Gaelic Football match, or a Hurling match?) so if you’re celebrating, you'll need to read this blog to keep up!
St. Patrick was the man who introduced Christianity to Ireland, banished the snakes, and fasted on a mountain for 40 days, and every year the world celebrates this. He encompasses everything Irish, he is responsible for Ireland's national symbol being the shamrock(!) and for our patriotic colour being green. He is Ireland, and every year on his feast day we celebrate the national identity he gave us. And no snakes? Huzzah!
Where to go
iQ London: iQ Shoreditch, iQ Hoxton, iQ Bloomsbury, iQ Kingston, lucky you! Take you pick from the many Irish pubs or the all day festival on Sunday the 15th at Trafalgar Square. The city is awash with green, white and orange!
iQ Edinburgh: The Three Sisters are doing it in STYLE, and having a week long build up to the big day! A must if you’re in the city.
iQ Leeds: There's a parade at the Millennium Square kicking off at 12.30pm with music, dancing and merriment. Sorted.
iQ Salford & iQ Preston: Look no further, there is an Irish festival happening in Manchester from the 6th- 20th March. Manchester has a thriving Irish community and celebrations there are always on point.
iQ Sheffield: Courtesy of Eat My Disco it looks like a St. Patrick's day bar crawl for you Sheffield lot! If that doesn’t appeal why not kick back and chill out in the iQ Brocco or iQ Steel social hubs and see if you and your friends can master an Irish reel...
iQ Nottingham: A whole series of events has been planned for this lovely city, the peak being the Nottingham festival and Parade on the 17th of March! This is all taking place at the old market square and we’re sure it won’t disappoint!
iQ Birmingham: Get yourself to the spectacular parade on Sunday March 15th in the city centre. This promises to be their "biggest celebration ever" and we’re sure it won’t disappoint!
iQ Bristol: The Bristol Irish Society have planned a parade on Sunday March 15th which will end up at the City Academy, and a day of events is planned.
St. Patrick's, St. Paddys, Paddys Day, but NEVER Pattys Day. Ever. Lets get some useful Irish sayings for you... If you should encounter an Irish person during this time, it’s always useful.
"Howya" - Hello
"What’s the craic?" - Any news?
"Who’s your man?" - Do you have any idea who this strange person is?
"Get up the yard!" - You surely can’t be serious?
"Sound" - I agree
And now some Irish sayings for the really adventurous...
"Dia duit" - Hello (prounced dheeea guuhit)
"La Fheile Padraig duit" - Happy St. Patrick's Day! (pronounced Law Fhela Pawwwreig guuit)
"Shift?" - Kiss
What not to say?
Never say PATTYS DAY or call an Irish person a leprechaun. We are quite laid back, and tend to go with the flow... But be warned, Irish people are notorious for their sarcastic, ironic sense of humour. And generally if we insult people, it means we like them. Obviously.
And by the way, goat is our endearing term for a silly person.
Lets get some facts straight... Ireland is renowned worldwide for their fondness of drink. But, what it really comes down to is that we LOVE a party and to celebrate. Most of our events don’t involve alcohol, because we love to dance! Broom dancing, Irish dancing, tap dancing, line dancing, you name it. You need your wits about you to keep up, and alcohol doesn’t help!
In Ireland any event is an excuse to celebrate... birthdays, funerals, christenings, starting an essay, hitting your word count, Mondays, weekends. So much so that our national holiday is all about celebrating. We love getting our friends and family together. Whether you decide to do this with or without alcohol is up to you!
So, are you ready to get involved with St. Patrick's Day? Get dressed up from head to toe in green (we love that!), get your friends together, make potato cakes (we love those too). Watch the parades from around the world; New York, Chicago, Dublin, Castlebar, Sydney. Drink lots of tea. Go into town, find an Irish bar. Brush up on your GAA (Irish football) as nothing would impress an Irish person more than knowing your Sam Maguire from your Liam McCarthy, trust me. Chat to the Irish, we are a very friendly bunch, and always have a welcome you just can’t beat.
And PS, we all don’t love Guinness...