Happy St. Patrick’s Day
The month of March can be an exciting time as we come to the end of winter and begin the slow thaw into spring.
March is also the month well known for the national holiday St. Patrick’s Day, which has become a widely known boozy celebration across Canada.
In fact, St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the most challenging days for law enforcement, as well as one of the most dangerous days for communities. The frequency and quantity of not only alcohol use, but also heavy alcohol use and binge drinking spikes on this day. Just looking at the rates of drinking violations alone we see that there is anywhere from a 10-25% increase in drinking violations on this single day.
Interestingly, while celebrating Irish culture with a glass of whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day is common, the holiday did not start out as a day associated with heavy alcohol consumption or excessive drunkenness.
The date March 17th was originally considered a holy day meant to mark the death of a Christian missionary named Patrick, who is known to play an essential role in converting the inhabitants of Ireland to Christianity and ridding the island of snakes. A feast and festivities that were eminent of the Irish culture typically celebrated the day, and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were brought to Canada by Irish immigrants sometime in the mid 1700’s.
Now, as most of us probably know, March 17th is known as one of the heaviest drinking days of the year. While it is still known as an Irish holiday, it is also marked by increases in alcohol-related hospitalizations, crime, injuries, accidents, and fatalities.
So, for the sake of our health and safety why not cast off the alcohol like St. Patrick did with the snakes and try celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day sober. To help out with this we came up with some ideas that could help in creating a fun, enjoyable, and sober St. Patrick’s Day.
First, be sure to wear green apparel to avoid getting pinched, and for added support of the Irish culture find some traditional St. Patrick’s Day symbols, such as the shamrock, to add to your holiday attire. Next, try making a green colored non-alcoholic beverage. For example, combine lemon-lime soda, lime sherbet, and crushed iced to create a delicious St. Patrick’s Day punch. If you are feeling more adventurous in the kitchen research some traditional Irish feast day meals and cook up something tasty you can enjoy with your friends and family. As for outings, most communities have Irish day parades and other festivities prepared to commemorate this day, so go out and enjoy these activities and celebrate the Irish holiday with your friends and community. These are only a few suggestions and we are sure you can come up with even more exciting ideas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely.
Remember, we don’t need drugs or alcohol to have fun and if you have not done so yet, we encourage you this month to take the Be You Promise.
Start this spring season off by making a healthy choice and commit to being the best version of you that you can possibly be.