It has been a full year since the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon Ireland. To those who have been doing their part and staying home, it feels like a lifetime has passed. Their usual routines were halted while time ticked by in a completely different way for essential workers. Frontline workers are somewhere in between feeling “time went by fast, but slow at the same time”, becoming exasperated with extended lockdowns, hours on end of wearing masks, and not being able to see friends and family due to their constant contact with the public on a daily basis. It has been a year of hardship, depression, and uncertainty, but there is still hope. Talks of the vaccine and getting everyone vaccinated holds hope for the future and how our normal lives will be returned to us soon.
St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching. The public holiday is a time where people come together to celebrate and watch the traditional parade that winds through the streets in all counties of Ireland. On St Patrick’s Day last year, we were robbed of our annual parade and everything that comes with the day as the public were told to stay indoors. The streets of Galway that were once full of life in years previous became deserted and quiet. The sound of drums from marching bands and children’s laughter didn’t echo through the streets last year and won’t this year either. Galway is still in level five lockdown, as is the rest of Ireland, and gatherings are still not permitted. Pubs and shops remain closed until further notice. However, another year of the parade being cancelled doesn’t necessarily mean that our small plans to celebrate have to be put on hold too!
Here are some ways in which we can celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2021:
Watching the parade with friends and family or having a few friendly drinks in the pubs isn’t possible in times such as these so it’ll teach us to think outside the box for ways in which we can still celebrate the day. Why not sit down with your friends or family and watch clips of the parade that took place in years previous? Talk about the memories of that day and what you liked or disliked about the parade. If we can’t physically attend it then the virtual world lends us a helping hand in capturing such events even if it took place years ago.
Nothing is stopping us from dressing up at home and wearing green or the colours of our tricolour. Even though we can’t show off our outfits and multicoloured hats and hairbands, we can still spread joy through sharing our outfits on social media. You would be surprised at how it can bring a smile to someone else’s face and maybe even bring some motivation or inspiration to them to do the same thing. On that note, with the concept of dressing up there is no law against having a few friendly drinks at home with your family or housemates. Also, videos surfaced on social media last year of children driving in their little toy cars in an attempt to make their own parade. Playing some traditional Irish songs can also be a great mood booster to raise one’s damp spirits.
Make it a fat-night:
Cook a lovely roast dinner for everyone or make it a bacon and cabbage sort of day for all who live with you. Also, if you don’t want to go to the effort of making a dinner, you can always order a takeaway from wherever your heart desires. Where would we be without delivery apps nowadays? Don’t forget your desserts, perhaps some mint ice-cream to add more green to your day.
St Patrick’s Day has been called off not once, but twice now and even though there’s not a thing we can do about it, we keep our fingers crossed that for St Patrick’s Day 2022 we will be back to normal with no restrictions and no cancelled parades. For now, we all have to try and celebrate at home with each other with our green coloured friends like an innocent Irish edition of Fifty Shades of Green, but with no foreplay involved. St Patrick was able to drive out the snakes from Ireland so perhaps we should say a prayer to him to drive out the coronavirus too!
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.