St Patrick’s Day might be a traditional Irish day of celebration, but if you’re in London, you’ll get a great taste of the festive spirit. The capital has long enjoyed a lively and diverse St Patrick’s Day celebration, with all kinds of activities to experience throughout the city.
If you’re planning to come to London close to St Patrick’s Day this year, keep an eye out for fantastic Heathrow hotel deals London and get ready to enjoy some exceptional Irish partying.
What is St Patrick’s Day?
St Patrick’s Day is an Irish Christian holiday, and celebrates the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, usually around March 17. While the celebration is undoubtedly Irish in origin, it has been carried all across the world, and celebrated globally, especially in cities where there is a big Irish population.
If you’re in London this Spring, then chances are, you’ll get to experience the joy and fun of the special holiday, and with excellent accommodation near Heathrow to choose from, it’s the perfect time to make a flying visit into the capital for some springtime festivity.
Typical activities on St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day has a few popular associations, that are often linked with the holiday’s Irish roots, as well as some of the favourite things enjoyed by the celebrants.
Wearing green is one of the most common things that highlight St Patrick’s Day, and the origins of this tradition are rooted in Irish mythology. Wearing green is supposed to protect you from getting pinched by a leprechaun, the tiny fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they saw.
While you don’t have to go head to toe in green it it’s not your favourite colour, one shade you should avoid is orange. The colour features in the Irish flag, and represents the Protestant aspect of the country’s complex history. While some Protestants in Ireland choose to wear orange as an act of protest, wearing green certainly shows a more positive and inclusive spirit.
As well as wearing green, drinking lots of alcohol is another popular pastime during this special holiday. And that’s not just because it happens to be a lot of fun – this is also rooted in history. St Patrick’s Day was traditionally a day off from the restrictions of Lent, allowing people to eat and drink whatever they enjoyed for the saint’s feast day. So start your day strong with a delicious Park Grand London Heathrow buffet, before enjoying plenty of whiskey and beer.
The London St Patrick’s Day Festival
The St Patrick’s Day Festival has been taking place in London for over 70 years, on the Sunday closest to March 17. This year, it will be held on March 15, and you can expect it to be as spectacular and memorable as ever. Get your best green outfit together and anticipate a fun-filled day ahead.
If you’re staying in accommodation near Heathrow, then make your way down to central London, where the festivities begin. Each year, the festival kicks off with a brilliant parade that brings the city a true taste of Irish style. Starting from Piccadilly and running through Haymarket, before making its way towards Trafalgar Square, the parade features an array of various Irish performances and costumes. You’ll see marching bands, brilliantly designed floats, Irish dancing groups and plenty of lively music.
As well as the parade itself, the festival also showcases a variety of other special entertainment, including a mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish music, as well as plenty of delicious food and drink. Make sure you give yourself a good headstart with a hearty Park Grand London Heathrow buffet, before getting stuck into the Guinness later in the day.
Other celebrations around London
The main St Patrick’s Day Festival isn’t the only fun to be had in the capital city. In fact, you’ll probably find that the Irish holiday festivities extend long beyond the main day, with special promotions, events and activities taking place all over London.
Irish bars will be the perfect place to head to if you’re looking for some impromptu celebrating. There are plenty of Irish pubs around London, where you’re guaranteed to have an exceptional time.
One of the most iconic pubs in the city is the Auld Shillelagh, in Stoke Newington. While it might seem a little off the beaten track, the Auld Shillelagh was awarded the title of the most authentic Irish pub in the world, outside of what you’ll find in the Emerald Isle. That’s high praise, and well deserved, as the pub features plenty of Irish music, drink and food. Be warned though – it gets exceptionally busy on St Patrick’s Day, so prepare to make lots of new friends.
If you’re looking for something a little more convenient to get to in central London, then check out the Porterhouse, in Covent Garden. This enormous pub has plenty of room for celebrating in, with twelve enormous levels, as well as a basement. Its hand-crafted selection of brews are all made in Dublin and especially shipped across to the London pub, giving you a truly authentic Irish flavour. With ample space across the pub, it’s a great spot to go to whether you plan on celebrating with a busy group of friends, or want to enjoy something a little more laidback, and just absorb the atmosphere.
Lastly, while pubs are a great place to enjoy Irish spirit, another fun alternative is to take a closer look at one of the country’s most popular drinks, whiskey. Enjoy a special master class giving you a deeper insight into how whiskey is made, its rich history, and of course, the chance to sample a few exceptional varieties, in some of the capital’s best bars. A variety of special events will be on offer all across London, so you’re bound to find a great St Patrick’s celebration, wherever you find yourself.