This is a guest post
There are many reasons why you might want to abstain from alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day. Although we typically associate this holiday with partying, and many people simply use it as an excuse to drink, that gets away from the actual meaning (and religious significance) behind the holiday. If you’re interested in a sober St Patty’s, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for some ideas for how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year without focusing on drinking.
The Origins of St. Patrick’s Day
Before planning how you’ll spend the holiday, it can be helpful to return to its roots. Many people are unaware of the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. It originated as a way to honour and celebrate the life of the Roman Catholic figure, Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. As a result, he is now honoured as the patron saint of Ireland.
In addition to being a religious holiday, St Patrick’s Day has also evolved into a way to celebrate Irish pride. Each year, individuals and families with Irish roots take part in celebrations of their cultural heritage. Rather than guzzling Guinness, you might honour Irish heritage with traditional foods like shepherd’s pie with cooked potatoes, wearing the colours of the Irish flag (green, white, and orange), learning a Riverdance or Irish jig, or listening to Irish music.
Renewing the focus on the actual religious meaning and cultural significance behind this holiday can help you overcome any pressures you feel to drink. Now that you’ve got the colourful history of St Patrick’s Day in mind, here are some sober ways to celebrate.
As pet owners already know, there are many benefits to owning a dog. Pets are thought to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety among their owners. Rather than attending a wild party or going out drinking with friends, you might consider spending some time with your dog. You could go for a walk or head to your favourite local dog park. Your dog won’t mind being used as your excuse not to drink, and you’ll both enjoy the bonding time.
There’s a good chance you’re not the only person in your area who’s interested in staying sober this St Patty’s Day. If you’re unaware of any sober parties or events, you could turn to the internet. Do a quick search on Google, Facebook, or even Meetup.com. For those who are in addiction recovery, you might also see if your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group is offering any activities or events.
Depending on where you live, you might also consider attending a Sober St Patrick’s Day event. As the name implies, these sober celebrations provide plenty of alcohol-free activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. They’re even kid-friendly! Check the website to find a city near you, and make plans to attend.
Avoid the Green Beer
Although we typically associate St Patrick’s Day with partying and green beer, that isn’t really the point of this holiday. There is cultural, historical, and religious significance to St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re going to celebrate, it is ultimately your choice whether to drink. However, if a sober St Patrick’s Day is your goal, you can use the tips and ideas listed above for some inspiration. Whatever you decide, stay safe and have a Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Ms. Lockwood is a retired social worker. Today, she writes for The Prevention Coalition.