Being abroad doesn’t mean having to turn a blind eye to your celtic roots or shy away from a good old folk dance. When it comes to their national day, the Irish know how to fly the flag in style, including in Luxembourg!
What is St Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17th March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services, and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption
What’s with the shamrock?
Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the ubiquitous wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs has become a feature of the day.
Sounds great – where can I celebrate?
Friday 10th March
- Spring Concert: Part of Zeltic Dudelange (20:00) – organ music at Eglise Saint Martin
Saturday 11th March
- Celtic Festival: Zeltic Dudelange (from 18:45 – 02:00), Hall sportif, LNBD annexe Alliance.
Wednesday 15th March
- Irish Film: Part of the British and Irish Film Festival‘s ‘Saint Patrick’s Week’: Sanctuary, 18:30 at the Cinémathèque.
Thursday 16 March
- Prayer: St Patrick’s Mass (19.30): Church of St Alphonse, Luxembourg City.
Friday 17th March
- Guinness with everything: Steiler boasts an annual St Patrick’s Day celebration that has everyone talking about it for months. Expect Irish cocktails, cake, fancy dress and sounds.
- Explore Irish literature: St Paddy’s Book & Poetry Night at the All English Bookstore, from 18:30-21:00.
- Irish Dinner and a show: St Patrick’s Party with Dinner & Live Music at Brasserie Benelux Strassen from 19:30–3:00.
- Party: Music and Guinness a-plenty at The Black Stuff from 18:30.
- Bar: The Irish Pub in Howald is hosting a weekend of celebrations and you can even shop at EireLux shop afterwards! A Lux pipe band will open the event at 19:45. Four Leaves Trad band from 20:00 onwards. 5 Euros entry.
- Bar: Updown is celebrating all weekend with special drinks, Irish stew and games.
- Concert: The Kilkennys (20:00): Centre Culturel Syrkus, Roodt/Syr
- Nightlife: Party at RockBox, Siam, Braueri and various bars in Clausen; dress code: green.
- Concert: Traditional St. Patrick’s Day/Drummers Bday Concert at Vis à Vis in the centre concerts from 18:15. Free entrance.
Saturday 18th March
- Children’s Party: Mini Céilí in Beggen from 14:30 to 16:30 – 5 Euros (or free for Comhaltas members).
- Party: Céilí at 20:00 by Comhaltas in Beggen. 10 Euros (or free for Comhaltas members).
- Bar: The Irish Pub in Howald is hosting a weekend of celebrations and you can even shop at EireLux shop afterwards! Four Leaves Trad band from 20:00 onwards. 5 Euros entry.
- CdJ Réiden presents its traditional St. Patrick’s Party at 20:00: 7 Euros or 5 with a flyer. Guinness on tap, cider from Luxembourg, an Irish whisky bar and Irish stew make you feel Irish.
Sunday 19th March
- Irish Film: Part of the British and Irish Film Festival‘s ‘Saint Patrick’s Week’: The Young Offenders, 17:00 at the Cinémathèque.
- Bar: The Irish Pub in Howald is hosting a weekend of celebrations and you can even shop at EireLux shop afterwards! Award winning Irish dancers at 15:30. 5 Euros entry.
If you would prefer to mingle with friends over a pint of Guiness or a tipple of irish whisky, why not head down to one of Luxembourg’s Irish pubs.
Hosting your own St Patrick’s Day Party
If you would like to bring a bit of Éire into your own home, you can find all the decorations you need at The ÉireLux Shop which sells all things Irish; from produce to Irish dancing shoes. Check out their facebook page too.
Don’t miss out on this year’s celebrations! Have a very merry St Paddy’s Day and “sláinte” to ye all!
Feature photo: Irene Dávila/Unsplash