So, what is St. Patrick’s Day and why do we celebrate it? St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. The festivities include parades, festivals, celebrations and wearing green. But what many love about St. Patty’s Day is the eating and drinking that is so famous on this day. I also like to think of it as “my day!” as I am a ‘Patty’ and believe in the same philosophy as St. Patrick – serve and give to others.
There is a cool story that ties in our love for giving and the history of St. Patrick. After converting to Catholicism Saint Patrick dedicated his life to serving and giving to others. A celebration of his life and joy of giving was first designated a Christian feast day in the 17th century. Since then it has long been respected in Ireland but travelled around the world as the Irish emigrated to other countries. St. Patrick’s Day first came to the United States of America in 1737 when Irish troops serving in Boston celebrated their national holiday. The first public celebration in New York came almost twenty years later in 1756. This holiday has spread throughout Western countries where people celebrate family, friends and festivities!
Even though St. Patrick’s Day is a day of celebration and commemoration of St. Patrick, it’s also a day that we can give back to the community and to others. There are many different ways to give. The following is a list of 5 ways to celebrate St. Patty’s Day by giving.
5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patty’s Day by Giving
- Bake and Share Shamrock Cookies – Just like St. Patrick, a man who toured through Ireland to share good stories, we too can share a little of St. Patrick’s story. Give someone a shamrock cookie or something that represents the Shamrock. Why the shamrock? Literacy levels were a barrier in the 17th century, so Patrick used the shamrock plant to demonstrate the most basic Christian doctrine. He would pick a shamrock from the grass and tell listeners that the three leaves of the shamrock represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each leaf symbolizes the three separate beings that together are all part of the Supreme Being. Today the symbol of the shamrock is an Irish icon, which is recognized the world over. Many view it as a symbol of luck, something the Irish have always been credited for! So why not share some luck with another person by sharing shamrock cookies.
- Make St. Patrick’s Day Cards – You can make cards for your grandparents, for the elderly at a nursing home, people at your church or community centre, for children at a local hospital, or for public service employees (teachers are always a great place to start). You will put a smile on their face and it won’t take much, or cost much, at all. If you have kids making cards are a fun afternoon craft project.
- Donate to Charity – Concern Worldwide is one of the largest international charities based in Ireland that provides food, shelter, and healthcare to those in need. Consider donating water or supplies at concerngifts.org. They are involved in emergency response, health and nutrition, climate change response and environmental resilience. What a wonderful way to give back and make the world a better place while helping the poorest people in the world to live a more manageable life.
- Buy Someone An Irish Coffee – Take a friend to a specialty coffee shop and buy him or her an Irish coffee. What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than having a warm drink as well as spending some quality time with a good friend and paying for their coffee? After all, friendships keep people happy and smiling. And it’s always nice to do something good for someone else.
- Donate a Portion of St. Patrick’s Day Sales to a Local Charity – Bars and restaurants will be very popular on St. Patrick’s Day. This festival day is a celebration of food and drink, with green beer being popular on March 17th. Choose a local charity and donate a percentage of sales from St. Patrick’s Day profits. Customers will appreciate your generosity and like that their local community is being supported. This give just might increase your clientele that day as people love generosity, and giving back.
There are so many different ideas and fun ways you can give back on St. Patrick’s Day. These simple yet powerful ideas can truly brighten another person’s or community’s day! Who doesn’t want to make another person’s life a little brighter? Ready to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day early with the spirit of St. Patrick himself? Sign up for a 365give free membership and start learning how you can give every day and change the world with simple, once a day actions. Spread that happiness far and wide to people around the world.