Germany's traditions: St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day started as a remembrance day of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. He taught the Christian faith across the country by explaining the Holy Trinity utilizing a shamrock. Over the years, it has become this large celebration of all things Irish – food, music, culture and more! Celebrating the holiday is a little different here in Germany than in the United States. It’s not as popular as many Americans are used to. However, where you can find a celebration, everyone is still Irish for the day with green attire and enjoying green beer.
Pubs to try in Germany
If you’re hanging closer to home, there are Irish pubs all over one can go to join in the revelry. Here are a few places to choose from.
Stuttgart - The Auld Rogue Irish Pub
Frankfurt - O’Reilly’s Irish Pubs
Ansbach - Irish Pub
Kaiserslautern - The Snug
Other ways to celebrate
If a pub isn’t your scene, don’t sweat it. Here are three ways to create your own malarkey for the occasion without stepping foot in a bar.
1. Wear your green – Kelly green is one of my favorite colors. However, any shade will do. If you don’t have green in your closet, you may choose to wear a shamrock sticker or use some green ribbon to tie up your hair. I would use that as an excuse to go clothes shopping, though.
2. Attend a parade – Munich is said to have one of the largest parades in Germany. Surprisingly to me, the parade in Berlin only started in 2011. If the crowds are too much for you, start a parade along the sidewalk with others in your neighborhood. I bet the kiddos will have an amazing time and your neighbors will appreciate their efforts.
3. Irish fare for dinner – I grew up in Dublin, Ohio where St. Patrick’s Day was as big as Christmas. My maiden name and my married name are Irish. It appears I can’t escape it! Traditionally, I make corned beef and cabbage with some sort of potato dish. My corned beef soaks in Guinness for at least 24 hours before going into the crock-pot – then it’s cooked in the marinade. I use some of the broth to cook the cabbage. Hungry yet? A corned beef is a little harder to come by, so ask someone at the Commissary or your local German market, if or when they will have them in stock.
Your installations’ Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation or Force Support Squadron will likely be hosting events as well. Be sure to check their websites for fun runs, food specials and nighttime parties.
Since we are in Europe, venturing to Ireland is now well within your grasp! Airfare is cheaper from Germany than the U.S. Be prepared for the increased cost of travel and accommodations relative to other times of the year. However, how can you put a price tag on the opportunity to experience the holiday in the land it originated? Plan ahead and save up if necessary. It will be worth it!
There is no shortage of opportunities to celebrate this holiday. With a little luck o’ the Irish, you’ll be creating some of your most favorite St. Patrick’s Day memories. Sláinte (cheers)!
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