St. Paddy’s Day is known for its festivals, parades and celebrating with friends. Here are some COVID-19 safe ways to commemorate the holiday while staying cautious.

St. Patrick’s Day is known for being a fun holiday full of wearing green, pinching strangers and enjoying time with family and friends while downing food doused in green food coloring. In America, it’s a celebration that dates back to 1772, when homesick Irish soldiers who served in the English military marched into New York City to honor the Irish patron Saint Patrick. 

Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain and captured by Irish pirates who held him captive for years. He became well-known for leaning on God despite his tragic circumstances, and brought Christianity to the people of Ireland. The rich history of the holiday is often overshadowed by shades of green and shamrocks, but this St. Patrick’s Day we can celebrate in a different, more intentional way. Here are seven purposeful ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 

1. Learn more about who Saint Patrick was

Educating yourself on the holiday’s iconic figure makes for a great conversation and shows that, even though you can’t celebrate St. Paddy’s Day like you usually would, you can still learn something. I’ve stumbled across many videos about Saint Patrick each is under 10 minutes and rather fascinating. Click here to watch my favorite animated video about the history of St. Patrick’s Day. 

A sixteen-year-old captured by pirates, taken to Ireland, he escaped by making it to the coast after four long years being enslaved, and reunited with his family. Later, he returns to Ireland and becomes the most infamous saint in a land that he was once enslaved in. It sounds like a movie Matthew McConaughey would win an Academy Award for starring in. 

2. Wear green

Okay, this is obvious. I’m just writing it here because I don’t want to be responsible if you get pinched. So, if this was the only reminder you were given, you can thank me later.

3. Download lucky-looking zoom backgrounds

If you go to Google and type in “Irish background” and “St. Patrick’s Day background” there are a wonderful assortment of easy-to download images that commemorate the fun occasion. See below for example.Photo courtesy of Sarah E. Sudfeld.

Overall, I love the look of being in a Lucky Charms commercial and that’s how it felt all class long. Plus, my professors and peers also got a kick out of it. Whether you are going to work or to a virtual class, putting up a St. Paddy’s background is one way to have some fun during our virtual reality this March 17. 

4. Spell the nickname right: St. Paddy’s 

It is very easy to mistakenly spell or pronounce the nickname for St. Patrick’s day.  It’s a simple mistake, and this tweet by BuzzFeed helps explain why it’s important to get the name right. 

5. Listen to Irish music

Irish music is very unique. I can’t say it’s a bop like a good dose of Taylor Swift or grooves like Lenny Kravitz, but it makes the atmosphere feel quite festive. A few minutes of listening to the Spotify playlist “St. Patrick’s Day Party Music,” and I was looking up how to RiverDance

The fast paced music can be paired with countless games for people of all ages. If you play it throughout your day, I’m certain it will make you feel like you have properly acknowledged St. Patrick’s Day.

6. Make Lucky Charms treats and spread St. Patrick’s Day cheer

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats are a step above rice crispy treats in both flavor and color. Not only are these sweet snacks easy to make, but they are a great way to connect with those around you while still socially distancing. 

Wear a mask, wash your hands and make a boat-load of these treats to share. It’s an optimal way to safely send love and well-wishes to your neighbors this Irish holiday season. 

The recipe includes: Lucky Charms, butter, marshmallows and salt. The goal: spreading peace and positivity. 

7. Watch an Irish centered movie

When it comes to celebrating Irish culture, there are many good films you can get your hands on. One of my favorite’s is the Disney Channel Original Movie from 2001 called “The Luck of the Irish.” If you aren’t in the mood for an early 2000s throwback, a good romantic comedy like, “Leap Year” or  “P.S. I Love You” should suffice. If you’d like something on the more serious side, there is an incredible performance by Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn” and a crime-drama starring Rober DeNiro in “The Irishman.” Regardless of what your movie preferences may be, there is something for everyone to celebrate Irish culture or St. Paddy’s Day itself.

Whether you try out one of these ideas on March 17 or celebrate in your own way, I hope you have a wonderful time on St. Patrick’s Day. There is nothing like honoring an inspiring man who brought Christianity to the Irish. So wear green, grab some Saint Patrick’s Day decor and prepare for a festive day filled with fun.