On being Irish and proud on St. Patricks Day and every other day...
1. Buy a claddagh ring
You might not recognize the official name of this ring, but they've become pretty popular since the start of the 2000's, even though they are actually hundreds of years old. These symbolic rings are traditionally given as engagement rings, wedding rings, or passed down through generations of daughters. These cultural rings also mean certain things when you wear them a certain way (so you may be giving off the impression that you're married if you're wearing them wrong!)
2. Find a four-leaf clover
This might take you longer than the day, but with the luck of the Irish you never know. I've been in the presence of only a few true four-leaf clovers in my life and loved every second of looking for them!
3. Go to the Southside Irish parade
If you're proud to be Irish and proud to show off your heritage, this is the place to be! The Southside parade is engraved in some of my childhood memories and I wouldn't have it any other way.
4. Cook your favorite Irish dish
Corned beef and cabbage. Guinness. Coddle. Shepherds pie. There are thousands out there, each unique and their own to every family. Spend time together, enjoy each others company, and eat some great food.
5. Wear green, drink beer
If you wear green you'll be sure to avoid the pinch of a Leprechaun. And if you drink beer you'll fit in with everybody else.
6. Visit the Chicago river
Enjoy the city, get a picture for your Instagram, and see the whole river dyed green!
7. Buy a shamrock shake
Any excuse to visit McDonalds am I right? Shamrock shakes might not necessarily be a part of Irish culture, but if you're low on money and want to stay close to home, put in an Irish-themed movie and have a shake date.
8. Throw a party
Get some green streamers, a few crazy St. Patricks Day hats, and buy lots of beer. You're sure to have a good time and you'll have a reason to party all weekend.
9. Get a tattoo
When my grandpa died, the last thing he told me was "You're precious." I've been thinking of getting the word lomhara as a tattoo, saying the phrase in Gaelic. My grandpa was adopted and didn't know much about where he came from, but he knew he was Irish and thats why I hold the culture so close to my heart.
10. Attend mass or service
Held on the death day of Saint Patrick himself, its a time to observe the patron saint of Ireland and feast. He ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.
11. Travel to Ireland!
And here's a bonus point (which I think is the best idea yet). I've been dying to see the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Dublin, you name it--ever since my parents and other family members have recently visited. Its definitely on my bucket list.
What are your favorite Irish traditions and ways to celebrate St. Patty's Day?