St. Patrick’s Day is meant to be a celebration of Irish culture and tradition, but it has more recently become a holiday that glorifies heavy drinking and alcohol intoxication. The holiday, which takes place on March 17th every year in the United States and Ireland, was created centuries ago in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is associated with green beers and bar hopping; it serves as a chance to dress up, party with friends, and drink.
The Pressures Of St. Patrick’s Day
Many people consider St. Patrick’s Day as a day to let loose and enjoy themselves. For most, the holiday is completely harmless. But for individuals who are in the process of recovering from alcohol abuse or addiction, St. Patrick’s Day parties and celebrations can be very triggering.
On March 17th, it’s likely that you can find alcohol flowing freely both indoors and outdoors. The day is full of temptations to give up on sobriety and have a drink. St. Patrick’s Day is full of pressure for those going through recovery, which may make them hesitant to celebrate.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking days of the year, it can be hard for people who are sober to enjoy the holiday at all. But it is important for all individuals, especially those who are working on their sobriety, to find joy in every day. Just because a lot of people drink on St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t mean that sober people can’t participate and honor the holiday.
10 Ways To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Without Drinking
The easiest way for people in recovery to get through St. Patrick’s Day is to try to have fun. After all, there are plenty of ways to commemorate the day without going to bars and getting intoxicated. There are many activities and traditions to enjoy with family members and friends that center around non-alcoholic aspects of the annual holiday.
Here are some ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while staying sober:
- Learn more about Irish culture through literature, art, and other mediums.
- Spend some time in the green outdoors – take a walk in the park or go hiking.
- Embrace the art of Irish dancing by seeing a show or taking a dance class.
- Wear lots of green – go all out with hats, jewelry, and other accessories.
- Have a sober St. Patrick’s Day gathering or virtual party with friends.
- Make & eat traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and stew.
- Create festive, non-alcoholic cocktails (a.k.a. “mocktails”)
- Enjoy popular teas from Ireland, like Irish Breakfast.
- Attend an event hosted by the recovery community.
- Go to a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Creating and embracing alcohol-free traditions can help make this holiday more enjoyable for individuals who are going through the recovery process. However, it is important to remember that it is possible to come across alcohol at some point in the day. Those who are going out sober on St. Patrick’s Day should be prepared to deal with triggers and answers questions.
If you are new to sober living or would rather not celebrate the holiday this year because of potential triggers, there is nothing wrong with deciding not to participate in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. There will be plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the holiday in years to come.
People in recovery must try to remember how hard they worked to get to where they are, especially on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. They are encouraged to take this day as an opportunity to be thankful for how far they have come and to make valuable memories.