St. Patrick's Day 2024: Celebrate the Greenest Holiday in Style
St. Patrick’s Day 2024, celebrated on 17th March, is a celebration of Irish culture and history and commemorates the death of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, widely considered to be the founder of Christianity in Ireland. Although an Irish celebration, St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated across the world, in huge part, thanks to the massive Irish diaspora.
With March not too far away, how can you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2024 as a student in the UK?
The history of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day 2024 might be the first time you experience the Irish holiday and the entertainment that it produces across the world. What are the traditions and history behind the day though?
It is a celebration of Irish culture and the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick (c. 385-461). The legend has it that St. Patrick worked to convert the Irish to Christianity by using the three leaves of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, which is why shamrocks play such a crucial role in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It also plays a significant role within Irish culture and traditions as a whole.
St. Patrick was from Wales, captured as a boy into slavery and sent to Slemish Mountain in County Antrim. He escaped home and had a vision to spread Christianity in Ireland. 17th March marks the death of the saint, which is why the date is celebrated today. The first parade to celebrate the day wasn’t in Ireland though, but in Boston, the United States, in 1737. Boston has a huge Irish population to this day.
How should you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
It doesn’t matter whether you are studying in the UK or Ireland, you can have a good time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Find a parade
Most cities with big Irish communities will have a parade of some sort. It’s a great way to get involved, get dressed up in your finest green clothing, and to learn more about the traditions, culture, music, and dance of Ireland.
Host a party
It is one of the biggest dates on the calendar for a big night out, so why not host a St. Patrick’s Day party at your student accommodation? Hang green decorations, wear shamrocks, host an Irish quiz, only play Irish pop music, and serve up some green-coloured drinks!
Go to the pub
You’ll find an Irish pub in every town and city in the entire world we reckon, so a good way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to head down to the pub with your mates and have a pint of Guinness of 6. If it’s a traditional Irish pub you might even get some live music.
Dress up for the night
Show off your creative side by dressing up for St. Patrick’s Day. The most important rule is to go green, from head to toe if possible! Accessorise with a shamrock of some sort, wear Irish rugby and football tops and maybe even some green or tricolour face paint.
St Patrick’s Day around the UK
With such a large Irish population around most of the UK, especially in the big cities, it is no surprise that there are some epic St. Patrick’s Day 2024 celebrations that you can be part of. Here are just some of the big hitters for this year.
If you live in London, there will be celebrations of Irishness and big parties throughout the capital this year, like every year, but there is also a big parade that starts at Hyde Park Corner at noon and ends in the festival at Trafalgar Square, running until 6 pm.
You’ll enjoy plenty of Irish music, dancing, food and drink, with more than 50,000 people expected in attendance. London is packed full of traditional Irish pubs, and these will all have special events, live music, drinks offers and menus on for the day (or for a few days).
Glasgow is a city that goes hard when it comes to partying, and St. Patrick’s Day is no different. The Irish community in the city is large, playing a pivotal role in the history of Glasgow over the centuries.
Celtic Football Club is the heart of the Irish community here, originally founded to support Irish immigrants in the city back in 1887 and is a club supported in Ireland and across the world, so look out for one of their matches close to the day.
Hosting one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, Birmingham puts on a show on 17th March every year. The atmosphere is a friendly one, with a parade of marching bands and entertainment in Digbeth. Plenty of Irish pubs and venues will also have celebrations and offers galore for you to take part in.
The second capital city of Ireland, Liverpool has been a melting pot of immigrants and cultures for centuries, with a huge Irish community that continues to arrive and settle to this day.
In fact, it is thought that around ¾ of Liverpool’s population has some Irish heritage. Liverpool is a sea of green outfits and green drinks from early doors for days around St. Patrick’s Day and expect 2024 to be no different.
There is a parade and celebration at the Liverpool Irish Centre every year, and some iconic, genuine Irish pubs in Liverpool, like Pogue Mahone’s, Shenanigans, and Flanagan’s Apple to enjoy a pint of Guinness in.
Another city with a large Irish population dating back to the 19th century, Manchester offers a vibrant and exciting St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The parade is a great way to explore the Irish heritage in a family-friendly environment during the day, with Irish historical walking tours an interesting pursuit.
With such a massive student population too, Manchester’s nightlife offers some fantastic St. Patrick’s Day action in the evenings.
Whatever it is you decide to do for St. Patrick’s Day 2024, make sure you have some fun with your friends. If you drink alcohol, go have that pint of Guinness, join the Irish parades, dress in green clothes, and just have a laugh. Sláinte!