Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Whether or not you and your family have ever been to Ireland or have Irish heritage, today is the day people enjoy wearing green and celebrating the luck of the Irish.  At BCFamily.ca we happen to have a healthy dose of Irish spirit as a result of spending a few years living south of Dublin.  Ireland  – the Emerald Isles – is truly a grand place.

How can you bring some of that Irish spirit home this weekend?  Here are some ideas.

To do:

Check out the Discover Ireland videos. If you have an older elementary aged child both of you could learn more about what Ireland is really like.

Wear green on the day – of course – and lots of it. For a bit of a special twist face paint a shamrock on each cheek of your child.

Consider pairing an Aran sweater with something green. If you do not have a genuine Aron sweater head on down to the Celtic Traditions store.  Or you may find a type of Aran sweater for the junior set at the baby store in the Women’s section of Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  At $40, their hand knit sweaters are reasonably priced.

St. Patrick’s day parades tend to take place the weekend before St. Patrick’s day. As there was no parade this year due to the Paralympics taking place, make a note of the parade for next year and what viewing point seemed to be the best.  These parades really are a lot of  fun.  Plan on attending Celtic Festival events as well.

Order a Irish Claddagh ring for yourself or your loved one.  These rings are symbols of love, friendship and fidelity. Traditionally if you are single the heart is worn facing your nails.  If you are in a relationship/married, the heart is worn facing your wrist.

Young children can draw or paint pictures of leprechauns, pots of gold and a perennial favourite  – rainbows.

Keep your ear to the ground for information about Irish dance presentations – whether they involve children, adults or professionals. They may take place around St. Patrick’s day, or any other day of the year.  Irish dancing truly is an impressive sight.

Consider taking in some Celtic music – either on the day or some other day of the year.  Celtic Traditions runs concerts and musical nights are also held at the Wolf and Hound.  Call ahead at the latter to ask about evenings when groups of folk musicians play together. The traditional instruments and happy musical beat are a treat for younger children.

For a traditional dish at dinner time, try out this delicious recipe for Irish Stew.

Pair your stew with some delicious Irish soda bread that can be made in less than an hour.

Enjoy each other’s company, put on some of your favourite folk music CDs and share stories.  The Irish are famous for their “gift of the gab”, and there is no better way to honour that tradition that to share an evening of good conversation with family and friends.

To consider:

For books about Ireland and the Irish check out:

My first book of Irish song and Celtic dances

Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney

Spectacular Ireland

The Little Big Book of Ireland

Little Irish Girl Paper Doll Book

Emerald Isle Sticker Activity Book

Ireland: Enchantment of the World

If you and your family are feeling inspired to visit Ireland, check out some of the following books:

Rick Steves’ Ireland 2010

Streetwise Ireland Laminated Road Map

DK Eyewitness Ireland Travel Guide

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