Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson
Every March 17th, individuals from all over the world come together to commemorate the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. On this occasion, there are joyous parades, traditional Irish melodies, and, for many, copious amounts of alcohol.
But why is St. Patrick’s Day a drinking holiday? Well, it’s not because everyone suddenly becomes Irish for a day.
As a kid, I remember seeing adults sipping on green beer and wondering why.
To understand why St. Patrick’s Day became a drinking holiday, I’ll share the history and traditions of this Irish celebration.
Why Is St. Patrick’s Day Considered A Drinking Holiday?
St. Patrick’s Day, originally established to honor Saint Patrick on the anniversary of his death, has evolved into a widely celebrated occasion associated with drinking.
It traced back to the Christian tradition of holding a grand feast on this day, during which Lenten food and alcohol restrictions were temporarily lifted.
As a result, people embraced the opportunity to indulge in alcoholic beverages, making drinking an essential part of the festivities.
Over time, this practice has solidified St. Patrick’s Day’s reputation as a drinking holiday, with pubs, bars , parades, and green-themed parties commonly commemorating the occasion.
What Drinks Should You Have On St. Patrick’s Day?
While beer is often the traditional drink of choice, there are several other beverages to enjoy on this special day.
“Alcohol removes inhibitions – like that scared little mouse who got drunk and shook his whiskers and shouted: “Now bring on that damn cat!”– Eleanor Early, Author
Irish coffee  is a common beverage consumed on St. Patrick’s Day. This classic cocktail is made with Irish whiskey, freshly brewed coffee, and a dollop of whipped cream.
For a non-alcoholic option, try the Shamrock Shake, a minty-green milkshake made with vanilla ice cream and flavored syrup.
But if you’re looking for something sweeter, an old-school Irish cream liqueur like Baileys is always a good call.
Find out if Dunkin’ Donuts has special St. Patrick’s donuts here.
How To Keep From Getting Drunk On St. Patrick’s Day
1. Drink plenty of water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.
2. Eating a good meal before and throughout the day will slow down the absorption of alcohol.
3. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it. Avoid excessive drinking.
4. Drink low-alcohol beverages. Alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages can slow down the rate of alcohol consumption.
5. Give yourself breaks from drinking, such as dancing or socializing, to give your body a chance to recover.
6. Avoid drinking shots. The shots can quickly increase your alcohol level and are best avoided.
7. Have a designated driver or plan for a safe ride home. Never risk your life behind the wheel after drinking; make sure you have a secure means to get home.
8. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had and monitor your level of intoxication.
9. Surround yourself with responsible people. Choose friends who will look out for you and make good decisions.
10. Don’t force yourself to drink. It’s okay to say no to alcohol; doing so will help you stay in control and avoid getting drunk.
What Are Non-alcoholic Beverages For St. Patrick’s Day?
A wide variety of tasty and unique drinks are available to tantalize the taste buds while enjoying the holiday.
From green-tinted juices to minty mocktails, there is something everyone can enjoy.
For a classic nod to the holiday, consider serving a green-hued punch, like a minty limeade, that all can enjoy.
Alternatively, a creamy milkshake or smoothie with a hint of green food coloring is an excellent option for a kid-friendly treat.
“While St. Patrick’s Day may have started as a religious observance, it has evolved into a global celebration of Irish heritage, complete with a toast to good times and good friends.”Howkapow Gift Site
These drinks can be made with various ingredients like fruits, herbs, spices, and syrups.
Hence, these drinks provide a festive and flavorful way to enjoy the holiday without the risks associated with alcohol.
What To Do On St. Patrick’s Day If You Don’t Drink?
Attending local parades, festivals, or activities can be fun to spend the occasion without consuming alcohol.
Many cities host parades, carnivals, and other activities to mark St. Patrick’s Day.
Second, you can spend the day with friends or family, cook traditional Irish dishes, or participate in fun activities like going to the movies or playing board games.
Lastly, St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Irish culture and history. You can read books about Ireland or visit a local museum to learn more about the country’s past.
Was St. Patrick’s Day once a dry holiday?
St. Patrick’s Day was once a dry holiday in Ireland and still is in some parts of the country.
The Catholic Church declared St. Patrick’s Day a dry holiday from 1903 until 1970, making it illegal to buy or consume alcohol on holiday.
Which countries allow drinking at any age?
Some countries, such as Russia, Denmark, and Armenia, allow drinking at any age, although no laws are associated with it. However, the legal drinking age in most countries is 18 or 21 years old.
What is Ireland’s national drink?
Ireland’s national drink is Guinness, a dark stout beer made from roasted barley, hops, and yeast.
It is considered among the most popular beers in the world and has a significant connection to the culture and history of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that has become synonymous with drinking and merriment.
From its origins as a religious feast day to its current status as a drinking holiday, it is clear that this day has been embraced by the Irish and many others worldwide as a day to enjoy and celebrate.
Whether toasting with a pint of Guinness or trying a new Irish whiskey, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy a favorite libation and celebrate the culture and spirit of the Irish.
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