Ahh, St. Patrick’s Day. One of the most loved holidays of the year around the world, St. Patrick’s Day (or Paddy’s Day as it's colloquially known), is a great excuse to paint yourself in various shades of green and have a good 'ol knees-up in honour of the patron saint of Ireland. So while you’re singing a song and dancing a jig, remember that the Irish have a lot to answer for, in a good way.
Here are five reasons to celebrate Ireland this Paddy's day - as if you needed an excuse!
Undoubtedly the most famous Irish export throughout the world, Guinness is a thing of beauty. Rich in iron and also versatile for cooking with, Guinness can be used in everything from pie to ginger cakes or braised beef in Guinness with caramelised red onions?
As the story goes, Arthur Guinness, the innovative Irish brew master whose delicious dry stout still bears his name, began brewing in Leixlip, County Kildare, before transferring to Dublin's St. Jame’s Gate Brewery in 1759, where he was so confident in his product that he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per year. More than 250 years on, “Pint of Plain” has become the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland with sales exceeding €2 billion annually.
So make sure you raise a glass to Arthur this St. Patrick's Day.
The Irish are as known for their ‘trad music’ as they are for their worldwide exports U2, B*witched, Westlife and Hozier. But they don't take themselves too seriously; they’ve also gifted the world with such classic Eurovision entries as Dustin the Turkey and Jedward. Remember Jedward?!
This Paddy’s Day, be sure to stick on some old-school Riverdance and dance like a crazy fool.
Although St. Patrick's colour is traditionally blue, on St. Paddy's Day everything turns Ireland’s national colour, green. The colour of the Emerald Isles, so named for it’s lush green planes and fields. This of course can only mean one thing - yep, you guessed it, green rivers, green beer, green leprechauns, and green hats galore.
There’s plenty of reasons why it's easy being green. It's a flattering shade for everyone, and even better, is one of the key colour trends for spring/summer '16. Find style inspiration over at George.com.
In Irish culture, green is a symbol of good luck, tied to the green four-leaved clover, so wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day will not only leave you looking pretty, but feeling upbeat too!
Irish people are well known for their love of the potato, but did you know there are many other foods that you would be without if it wasn't for the Irish? Imagine a world without flavoured crisps and milk chocolate!
Irish-born Sir Henry Sloane is credited with being the first person to mix chocolate with milk. It is thought that during his travels in Jamaica in 1672, he had the brainwave of adding milk to drinking chocolate, which he then brought back to the UK to use medicinally.
While in 1954 Joseph ‘Spud’ Murphy came up with the idea for cheese and onion crisps - before Murphy, the only crisp flavour you could get was ‘salt’ (yuck!). The flavoured snacks became a huge sensation and Murphy later went on to develop the recipes for BBQ and salt and vinegar flavours. It revolutionised crisps and companies all over the world have since replicated Murphy’s innovation. In Ireland, the crisps are so celebrated that they even have their own theme park dedicated to them, Tayto Park.
5. Pop culture
The Irish have revolutionised pop culture in more ways than one. From the amazing scenery used as set locations in films and TV shows such as Saving Private Ryan and Game of Thrones, to producing some of the most acclaimed authors of all time, such as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce, the Irish certainly don't do things by half. Did you also know that Ireland may have provided the inspiration for Dracula, one of the most used pop culture references of all time? Bram Stoker is said to have found his inspiration for the fabled tale while staying in Ireland during his childhood. Meanwhile, during the 20th Century Irish writers won the Nobel Prize for Literature no less than three times, which is quite impressive for such a tiny nation!
As you can see, Ireland is full of surprises. So raise a glass this St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!