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St. Patrick's Day Dinner Party

Celebrate the holiday at home with a meal that says "St. Patrick’s Day" from start to finish. Greet guests with some good Irish beer options and nibblers. Crackers and Irish cheddar cheese or dip and green veggies, such as broccoli and zucchini, are a good bet. Keep 'em light, because the main course is mouth-watering stick-to-your ribs Irish fare. Warn guests to leave room for the dessert, too. All easy recipe options require under 30 minutes to prepare. No luck of the Irish needed. Though it's always a welcome bonus!

chicken paprika shepherds pie
Special St. Patrick's Day Touches

Pump up the St. Paddy's Day soirée with these Irish-oriented party ideas including music, decorations and more.

Blarney Rock Play Irish music in the background. Go with traditional Irish folk songs or more current rock from artists like U2, The Pogues or Van Morrison.

Double-Duty Centerpiece Green candles in multiple sizes and strings of green plastic beads strewn about make for easy, inexpensive and pretty table dressing. Plus, you have a little something on hand to ensure everyone has a touch o' green.

Sláinte Stock Irish beers such as Harp, Guinness and Kilkenny, or make your own green beer with a few drops of green food coloring. The lighter the beer, the better the result.

That's Crafty Decorate plain napkins, paper coasters or place mats with a shamrock stamp dipped in green ink. Make your own stamp by carving a shamrock shape into a potato half or by using a heart-shaped stamp three times—one for each leaf—then drawing in the stem.

Pretty, Patriotic Get helium-filled balloons in green, white and orange, the colors of the Irish flag. Let them dangle throughout the party.

Grown Green Choose flowers in different shades of green such as chrysanthemums, hydrangea, calla lily, carnations, eucalyptus or orchids. Make an arrangement, or tuck single stems in select spots.

St. Patrick's Day Facts: No Blarney

  • British, Schmitish St. Patrick's Day is named for the saint who brought Christianity to the country and is held on March 17th, the anniversary of his death. Did you know, though, that St. Patrick's birth took place in Britain, not Ireland?
  • Four Luck By definition, a shamrock is a clover with three leaves. Each stands for something different. The first represents hope; the second, faith; and the third, love. That rare fourth leaf symbolizes—you guessed it—luck. It also disqualifies it for the "shamrock" category.
  • Saved Just the Same Ever hear that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland? Not true. Seems there never were snakes on the Emerald Isle. "Snakes" are probably just a metaphor for the pagan religions that disappeared once he'd finished converting the Irish to Christianity.
  • From Religion to Revelry Ireland's St. Patrick's Day and America's St. Patrick's Day look very different from one another. As homesick Irish immigrants found new ways to celebrate their homeland here, the holy day's customs took on a raucous life of their own, morphing to include today's uniquely American staples of green beer, parades and even corned beef.

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