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Belfast and Northern Ireland

Paddy's Day - What's the Craic?

Happening house party or a night on the town? Whether you've been here forever or it's your first time celebrating St.Paddy's, our students share their celebrations and some useful tips on how you can make the most of the holiday!

Suzanne and friends on Paddy's day

If you’re looking for a more chill St Patrick’s day, why not DIY your own festivities?

During my first year, uni shut down for lockdown on the 17 March, so the next year, my housemates and I went all out to celebrate our first St Patrick’s in Belfast- without even having to leave the house.

Kathryn and pals on Paddys day
Decorate the house and get your green on

We spent the night before making some homemade green, white and orange bunting,  decorations (in the form of the most terrifying life size leprechaun) and popped to the shops for supplies like cocktail ingredients and green food colouring.

Kathryn and papier mache leprechaun
Kathryn and her giant leprechaun 

On the day, we made the most of our day off from uni to have plenty of time to get ready in our best green outfits and make some snacks.

I think the holiday is a fun excuse to get together with friends and the atmosphere around the city is class, which definitely got us in the mood!  

Kathryn and friends on Paddy's day
Dye everything green! It's Paddy's day!

Make an occasion out of it

It felt like a whole occasion, as we decorated the kitchen and made sure everything was on theme, right down to dyeing our ciders green. This was in 2021 when COVID restrictions were still in place, but honestly, we did our best in the situation at the time - and I’d choose our cute night in complete with silly photos, quality time and lots of laughs together as a regular St Patrick’s activity!

-Kathryn Allen, Medicine, NI

Flat party and trad music?

I lived in Elm’s Village in first year where my friends, and I had a party in our flat. We all dressed in green and listened to some Irish traditional music. We decorated our flat with balloons and wrote ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit” on our chalkboard, which means “Happy St Patrick’s Day to you!” Then we joined the rest of the students on the lawn at the back of the tree house for music, sport, and drinks.

Suzanne and friends on Paddy's day on the grass
There'll be loads on at Queen's Accommodation

The Craic's 90 on the Dublin Road! *

Last year, we had a party in our house where we played cards and listened to Irish trad music. We then heard all the students were heading out along the Dublin Road to bars like The Points and Filthy’s.

Suzanne and her pals on Paddy's day

There were really long queues so if you want a seat on St Patrick’s Day you need to be there early.

We ended up in Filthy’s which was packed but the vibes were good. There was lots of dancing upstairs and my friend even got a go on the fiddle.

Suzanne's friend playing the violin
Suzanne's pal has a go on the fiddle!

We all wore green and made sure we brought a coat because as usual it was raining. Overall, St Patrick’s Day is great craic and is the best day to go out and meet new people.

-Suzanne Mooney, Accounting, NI

Why not take part in the parade?

St.Patrick's day is a HUGE festival in Ireland. It is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March every year. It is a public holiday in Northern Ireland, and you’ll find lots of people wearing green and enjoying the festival atmosphere. The St Patrick’s Day Parade in Belfast is so much fun. I represented the University by participating in the parade.

Shing and a storm trooper
Shing and a Stormtrooper

We got two days of training before we went to the actual parade. In the first day of training, we designed the overall movements in our parade dance, and practised the dance with different ‘parade music’. As a guy, it was really an eye-opening experience for me because I have never danced before. Despite the aching muscles after the practise, it was really worthwhile.

St Paddys day parade at City Hall
Parade passing City Hall

If you are coming here next year look out for how you can join the parade!  

- Shing Him Mak, Law Hong Kong

*Translation - there'll be a whole lot of fun on the Dublin Road!

Find out more

St.Patrick's Day in Belfast