Irish settlers have played a major role in the history of Australia with many tracing their roots back to the 17th century. Some came as convicts, but many also came as settlers, and towards the late 19th century, the Australian population was approximately one-third Irish. Today there are over 2 million people who identify themselves as being Irish descendants. No wonder then, that celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Australia, is such a significant thing. The St Patrick’s Day parade in Sydney comes second to New York, in being the largest parade in the world. Tell that to your leprechaun living at the bottom of your garden!
Irish Heritage and Special Celebrations in Personalised Gifting
Even if you are pure Irish, my friends, you probably have some Irishness close to your heart, so here is a brief history of St Patrick’s Day, and some tips and ideas for you to use in making this special day a stylish celebration with some personalised gifts and themes. Whether it is a corporate function that you are organising, or you want to customise the day in your restaurant and pub, or simply want to create a classy family and friends get together, there is no better way to impress, than giving a personalised gift on St Patrick’s Day. Remember, if you truly want to be creative, stay away from those run-of-the-mill commercial ideas by doing something unique. Personalising your gifts is a good way to start. You will be rewarded with a four leaved clover and a pot of gold for your expertise and creative ideas.
History of St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day takes place on 17 March and is a celebration of Irish culture around the world. Patrick was one of Ireland’s patron saints and he died on this day in 493. He devoted his life to missionary work in Ireland although, interestingly, he was not of Irish decent. It is believed that he banished snakes from Ireland, although scientist argue this, as snakes were wiped out in the last ice age in Ireland. It is probably a symbolic term, in that snakes may have been referred to as pagan worshippers in early Christendom.
St Patrick’s Day is a Day of Feasting and Going Green
In 1588 a Franciscan monk was instrumental in turning the anniversary of St Patrick’s death into a day of feasting in the Catholic Church. It was also a day of relief from the austerity of Lent that proceeds it. So, in many instances, it is seen as a day, with food, drink and making merry being central to the celebration. I don’t know about you, but for me, the culinary expertise of Irish heritage is not something particularly noteworthy. In late 19th century boiled brisket and cabbage was served, mainly due of course to the economic woes of Ireland and its settlers at the time. Today you will be pleased to hear, things have changed, and millions of dollars are spent on food, wine, beer, clothing, decorations and parade floats on St Patricks Day in Australia. Not of course to mention, those house parties that people organise to celebrate the occasion along with the personalised or customised gifts that are given.
The colour green, as in the Emerald Isle of Ireland, is what St Patrick’s Day is associated with, as well as:
- Shamrocks and clover which designate luck.
- Green clothing.
- Pots of gold.
- Drinking, feasting, and dancing.
- Irish food that includes beef and Guinness pie, brown bread, chocolate mousse cake, coffee, potato champ or poundies, stew, and potato soup.
- Breaking away from the austerity of lent.
- Gaelic terms as in “Dia dhuit” (Hello) or “Sláinte!” (Cheers)
- Parades that feature marching bands, sports clubs, Irish dancing, grandly designed floats and street theatre.
Some Gifting Ideas for your Personalised St Patrick’s Day Celebrations
Using these associations that symbolise St Patrick’s Day here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing whether it be for business or individual celebrations on the day:
- Order personalised wine or beer for the occasion. What better way than making merry and impressing your customers or friends, than to have your own wine or beer label made. A unique and well-received gift is what you are aiming for after all to really put that four-leaved clover on the top.
- Choose your own label or get some help from experts in designing it. It is extremely simple to get some ideas on label design, as you really only have to concentrate on all that is Irish: Green, Clovers, Shamrocks, Irish Flag for instance, and along with some interesting and funny Gaelic sayings, the gift will be a winner.
- Take some photos of your colleagues or friends you are wanting to impress and turn them into either an invitation to your St Patrick’s Day celebration or gifts or both.
- Customise the glasses that you intend serving your drinks in.
- Don’t turn your drinks into green goblins – people really don’t want to drink something with a toxic coloured dye in it. Rather drink from green glasses that you have printed with a shamrock on them for instance.
- Date your gifts as people like to have mementoes that remind them of the time and place. St Patrick’s Day 21 March 2017.
- Package everything in green. If you are wanting a corporate gift for the occasion this does not mean turning your company’s logo into a green one, but rather have the design customised around a green background, or a green border.
- The Irish are renowned for their love of traditional music much of which involves the fiddle. Play Irish music for your occasion. Compile a personalised gift Irish music CD and again date it.
- They are also renowned for their love of all things related to drink; Guinness being of course the famous beer which is rooted in the history of Ireland. Serve Guinness along with some locally produced boutique beers from Australia to add to the variety. Best you don’t mess with the Guinness label, so as not to step on the true Irish heritage chap’s toes, but you could personalise the label of the boutique beers in keeping with your Irish themed St Patrick’s Day celebration.
- Use some of the boutique spirit alcohol that is produced in Australia – some of these are green without the dreaded dye. Mint Liqueurs, Lime liqueurs etc. Get these liqueurs specially labelled for the celebration.
- Leprechauns are small creatures so you may want to follow that through with miniature wines and have them labelled to match your overall Irish 2017 St Patrick’s Day theme.
- If you are doing a promotion for a brand or business on St Patrick’s Day and want to generate some good will at the Sydney or Melbourne Parade, then you could personalise the labels on bottled water and hand these out to the crowd.
- What about personalising your own float at the St Patrick’s Day parade and inviting your customers to take part. A fun gift and a fabulous gesture on a fun day and something that would be uniquely customised.
- Give people Irish name tags on the day. Write a ditty to go with the name that epitomises that person.
You could wax lyrically on folks thumping your feet to that fiddle. Remember when considering gifts for any occasion, the more personalised they are the more the message you are wanting to convey will be communicated. Don’t follow the norm in commercialising the special occasion with hum drum party gifts, rather stand out from the maddening crowd with something unique that you are proud to be part of.