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8 things we all did on St Patrick's Day as kids

Anyone for a bit of face paint? Ah, go on.

ST PATRICK’S DAY is the best fun when you’re a kid.

In the run-up, you learned all about the story of St Patrick – and how he was actually Welsh, not Irish – then made little paper mitres to wear in the yard, looking out for four-leaved clovers. It signalled spring was on the way AND you got a day off school.


1. Wear the green

It was (and kind of still is) absolutely obligatory. The more, the better. It was a childhood crime not to wear green on the big day in some form. And, no, that mint-coloured scarf doesn’t count!

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

2. Watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People

A Paddy’s Day institution that came on RTE every year as regular as clockwork. The only other movies you can rely on like that are shown at Christmas. Enjoyable EVERY year, without fail.

Source: bmoviereviews ./YouTube

3. Get your face painted

SHEER JOY! The only other time of year you were allowed to smear paint on your face was Halloween. Two shamrocks, please, bang front and centre on the cheeks. Another favourite trick was outright refusing to wash your face for a day afterwards.

Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Or maybe a nice wig… that Mam forced you to wear.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

4. Your Dad pinned clover to his lapel

Now, he wasn’t going to go in for all that face-painting stuff, but he’d pin a bit of clover to his jacket. Real shamrock was always hard to track down.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

5. Head into the parade

All geared up, bringing in your sweets for the bus trip, walking for ages to try and find the best spot along the parade’s route, dodging all those feckers who brought along stepladders. Maybe even getting hoisted onto your Dad’s shoulders for the best view of the marching bands. Inexplicably, St Patrick’s Day always seemed to be sunny and you’d spot a lot of families returning home with telltale sunburn.

Source: Photocall Ireland

6. Wave flags, blow whistles and generally have the craic

When else did your Mam give a whistle – and actually encourage you to make some noise?

Source: lastangryfan.com

7. Break Lent

Probably the greatest boon of all. Easter Sunday feels a long way off during the sweet-devoid 40 days and nights of Lent. Sure, you’re feeling pretty virtuous about how much is in your Trocaire box, but you’d kill for a Refresher bar or some Meanies. St Patrick’s Day was a joyous occasion mostly because you could break into your stash.

stingerr Source: EmporiumofSweets.ie

8. Get excited for Shamrock shakes

SHAMROCK SHAKES! The novelty, the glamour, the melted residue stuck on your hot little hands. Yep, they’re back alright.

Source: Sarah Doran/DailyEdge.ie

There’s no better day than the one that’s in it for cultural pride. Feel like catching up? Then try TG4′s player. It can bring you right back straight away.

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