A tale of two St Patrick’s Days: Parties abroad, being cooped up inside at home

Irish people around the world find ways to celebrate a St Patrick’s Day like no other

 Cathy Wintsch enjoying an early game of Paddy’s Day golf in Geneva, Switzerland

Cathy Wintsch enjoying an early game of Paddy’s Day golf in Geneva, Switzerland

 

This week we asked what you’ll be doing on a St Patrick’s Day like no other – wherever you are in the world. Here’s what you told us

It just didn’t feel quite like St Patrick’s Day, unless of course you happened to be somewhere far from the Emerald Isle. There was a bit of Irish luck when it came to the weather but Covid-19 restrictions made this year’s festivities feel unnaturally, well, sober. No parades, no pubs, no crowds, many might say none of what makes the Irish Irish – namely, craic.

This year we asked our readers far and wide what they are doing to celebrate the national day and the responses illustrate just how strange St Patrick’s Day 2021 has been:

St Patrick’s Day: Johnny Ó Flannagáin le Rossa agus Aodhla
Johnny Ó Flannagáin le Rossa agus Aodhla

Although we’re not abroad, it certainly feels like we are sometimes. The annual trip to the Liberty Belle on Francis Street in Dublin for crisps and jelly juice has been cancelled, again. The children, young as they are – Rossa is five and Aodhla is three – know no different. – Muintir Úi Fhlannagáin: Johnny, Deirdre, Rossa agus Aodhla, Baile Átha Cliath

Going to a party at a mate’s and on Sunday going to a Paddy’s Day festival all-day event. Excited! Neil Sturdy, Sydney, Australia

Oh, I might go to my back garden for a change. – John O’Connor, Dublin

With a Tunisian and Argentine friend, I will be taking a boat trip up the Bosphorus. Dinner, drinks, entertainment, music and dancing included. Green will be worn by all!John Stevenson, Istanbul, Marmara Region, Turkey

I might sit in my living room. Or maybe in the kitchen . . . I have not decided yet. I am very excited to decide later during the day, though. – Goran Guksic

Cathy Wintsch enjoying an early game of Paddy’s Day golf in Geneva, Switzerland.
Cathy Wintsch enjoying an early game of Paddy’s Day golf in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thankfully golf courses are open in Switzerland, so I turned up at golf this morning to celebrate St Patrick’s Day dressed accordingly. We also arranged for Guinness cupcakes to be distributed to all the players today and they went down a treat.Cathy Wintsch, Geneva, Switzerland

I’ll be wearing an Aran sweater and start the day with a nice bit of coddle, having queued for an hour or two outside Dunnes. I’ll just spend the rest of the evening cooped up inside, eating cuts of bacon, drinking whiskey and tearfully singing “By a lonely prison wall . . .”Hughie Byrne, Ballymahon, Co Longford

St Patrick’s Day: Ryan Kidd with the cookies he’s baked to share with his class in New Zealand
Ryan Kidd with the cookies he’s baked to share with his class in New Zealand

My 11-year-old son, Ryan, has been busy baking 32 green cookies with white chocolate chips to share with his class at Mount Maunganui Intermediate School on St Patrick’s Day. We’ve been living in New Zealand for eight years and can’t wait until the time comes when travelling is once again a normal part of life, so we can fly back to Cork and hug all our family and friends. Happy St Patrick’s Day, everyone. – Emma, Sam, Ryan, Zoe and Amy Kidd, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

When my kids, Tara and Killian, were small I used to send them into the creche with green fairy cakes – and this tradition has continued. The kids now help me make the buns and they love it, which is great as I really want them to feel that they are Irish as well as French. My husband, Jérôme, will more than likely have a Guinness or two and my bottle of Baileys might get dusted off for the occasion. Bonne fête de la St Patrick! Sheila Campion, Brittany, France

St Patrick’s Day: Sheila Campion’s children, Tara and Killian, with the cupcakes they made last year, just after French schools shut
Sheila Campion’s children, Tara and Killian, with the cupcakes they made last year, just after French schools shut

Same as we’ve done for the past year . . . looking at the same four walls. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all!Siobhan Hogan Hamid, Glasgow, Scotland

Celebrating with my son, who turns five on St Patrick’s Day. Being born in Australia, he doesn’t really understand why we all wear green on his birthday. Janet Jordan, Brisbane, Australia

Missing home desperately but still got to do a fun shamrock run/walk with Gillian Woods, my Irish friend. Holding out hope to make it home this summer if safe. Miss family a lot. – Gráinne O’Malley, Maryland, US

It may seem rather tame, but we will have a little party in our apartment in Abu Dhabi involving green, white and gold cupcakes and balloons for the children and some bubbly (and cakes) for the adults. We will put on some traditional Irish music and have a go at doing a few jigs and reels. Earlier in the day, I might tune into St Patrick’s Mass live from St Mary’s in Mallow, where I hail from, and pray for our beautiful country, its people and all my loved ones. God bless. John Gaffney, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

I am a Dubliner living in Chandler, southwest of Phoenix, where I volunteer with the Irish Cultural Centre. We had an amazing virtual event on Saturday with music, poetry and guests from local and international artists. We will also celebrate on Wednesday, including lighting our castle up in green.Leslie Thompson, Phoenix, Arizona, US

For the first time in history, the Nawarat Bridge, Chiang Mai, Thailand, will turn green this evening. I shall be there with other Irish people, friends of Ireland and those with connections with Ireland. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all.Annette Kunigagon, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Since we can’t be with all our loved ones at home, we’ll probably try find a quiet beach to hang out on. My other half is a musician with a serious grá for Irish music, so fingers crossed he’ll bring the guitar and knock a few tunes outta it! Caroline Lennon, Florida, US

We live in Mexico part of the year. St Patrick’s Day in big-ish down here, like everywhere. Lots of people out there on the street in green already and businesses decorated. We have a dinner booked on water and there will be an Irish band. All outside and distanced! There will be fireworks after sunset. We will finish off at Murphy’s bar in town. – Sean Conway, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Green milkshakes at Lasra Long’s home in Dublin.
Green milkshakes at Lasra Long’s home in Dublin.

We went for a big walk, stopped for waffles for the kids and coffee for us. Back home for a picnic in the garden and green milkshakes. Finishing off with ham, mash, cabbage and carrots! The weather really made it a perfect day. – Lasra Long, Dublin

I’ll be celebrating by visiting Brussels’s famous Manneken Pis. The Belgians are great friends of Ireland and also quite fond of the craic. – Patrick Kennedy, City of Brussels, Belgium

As always I’ll be hiding in my house. Quite aside from the fact that I haven’t seen anybody wear a mask in months, [there is also] the thought of being pinched (Americans pinch you if you’re not wearing green) by a four-leaved-clover-wearing lunatic shouting about St Patty. – Patrick Collins, Los Angeles, California, US

At Sean’s Pub on 48th and Rockefeller Centre having an Irish breakfast! Only the beginning of the day! Nothing is going to stop me from enjoying St Patrick’s Day! – Maria D, New York, New York, US

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