St Patrick’s Day: an American Tradition

 In Cultural Immersion

St Patrick’s Day in the USA is a uniquely American holiday tradition.  Although March 17, St Patrick’s Day, was quite a solemn religious occasion in Ireland until recently, in those cities which attracted so many of Irish immigrants in the 18th Century, St Patrick’s Day become an American holiday designed to show strength in numbers as those of Irish descent took to celebrating their Irish Catholic identity in the streets of New York, Boston and other immigrant cities.

Today, St Patrick’s is a largely secular holiday and it is celebrated by everyone, Irish or not! Those symbols of St Patrick’s Day – parades, green everything, shamrocks, leprechauns and Irish jigs offer so many possibilities to hilarious party games which fully fit with the spirit or fun and all-out Irish-ness!

Try These St Patrick’s Day Party Games

  1. Pin the shamrock on the leprechaun (a version of “pin the tail on the donkey”)

What you need:

  • Leprechaun dancing on a pot of gold cut out
  • Shamrock cut out with stick tack on  the back
  • A blindfold
  • Green beverage

Rules of the Game:

  • Use scissors to cut the shape of the leprechaun and shamrock out of bright green paper
  • Hang the Leprechaun cut out on the wall.
  • Blindfold each person and have him or her tack on the shamrock to the leprechaun’s pot of gold.
  • Each person that misses must take a  sip of an unpleasant green colored (thinking kale and wheatgrass smoothie) beverage, those that get it on the spot win a prize.
  1. Pot of gold tossSt Patrick's Day Shamrock

What you Need:

  • Cardboard box
  • Gold spray paint
  • Plastic tub
  • Paint brush
  • 24”W x 18” H cardboard painted with clovers
  • Gold coins – chocolate or regular

Rules of the Game:

  • Spray paint a cardboard box or plastic bucket with gold spray paint, make a pot of gold.
  • Paint the cardboard background with green clovers
  • Place the “pot of gold” (box or bucket open side up) in front of a field of clovers
  • Hand out 3 chocolate or other gold coins to each of your guests. Each person gets 3 chances to toss the coins in the pot of gold. The guest that gets all 3 in wins a prize at the end.
  1. Irish jig dance-off

We may not know how to do the Irish Jig, but we do know how to dance or at least try. An Irish Jig Dance Off gets everyone moving to classic Irish Folk songs.

What you need:

  • Green paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Irish music
  • Shamrock necklace

Rules of the Game:

  • Clear a dance area.
  • Cut out shamrocks from green paper and write numbers on each one.
  • Everybody must dance! Drag all to the dance floor and then start the music –  traditional Irish tunes.
  • Everyone dances, jigs, twirls, hops and twists until they are too tired to continue. The last 3 or 4 people on the dance floor win a prize. Give prizes to the best and the worst dancers.
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