Pints of glossy black Guinness, bright green Shamrocks, cheeky leprechauns – these are all things many of us associate with Ireland’s most famous and fun holiday. Held on the 17th March, St Patrick’s Day is definitely the biggest event on the Irish calendar! If you can’t make it over to the Emerald Isle this year, why not consider a celebration in a city a little closer to home instead?
With around half of all Scousers claiming Irish heritage, it’s no surprise that Liverpool is such a hotspot for St Paddy’s Day festivities. Whether you live in a nearby city like Manchester or you’re planning a trip to the Merseyside capital from further afield, book tickets through TransPennine Express to Liverpool this March and get ready to celebrate this exciting Irish holiday first hand.
First things first, what’s the history of St Patrick’s Day?
Also known as the Feast of St Patrick, St Patrick’s Day marks the day Ireland’s patron saint (who famously brought Christianity to the country) died way back in the 5th century. It’s been held on the 17th of March every year since it was made an official Christian feast day in the 1600s. While it historically always fell during Lent, the Church typically allowed people to take a break so they could make the most of drinking and feasting!
Nowadays, the lively annual festival is a general celebration of Irish culture and typically involves public parades, parties and ceilidhs. Many people also like to wear shamrocks or dress entirely in green.
Why is St Patrick’s Day such a big thing in Liverpool?
It’s a known fact that Liverpool is home to the largest Irish population in England. Wondering why that is? Besides from the fact that Liverpool is the closest English port to the Emerald Isle, many Irish people also historically migrated there during the 1800s to escape Ireland’s tragic Potato Famine.
A large proportion decided to stay on in the city which is why so many Liverpudlians today have Irish heritage AND why St Patrick’s Day is such a big deal in the city. As well as being scattered with great Irish pubs where you can try traditional tipples and wholesome Irish grub, Liverpool’s people, language and culture have all been strongly influenced by its Irish citizens over the centuries.
How to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Liverpool in 2020
If you can’t get over to Ireland this St Paddy’s Day, Liverpool is definitely the next best thing. While there are plenty of celebrations across the city involving heady amounts of Guinness and whiskey – from the brilliant Baltic Market to dozens of bars along buzzing Matthew Street – you’ll also find numerous family-friendly activities to enjoy on the 17th of March 2020. Here are just a few fantastic options to get you started:
1. Watch the St Patrick’s Day Parade
Perhaps the biggest celebration of the day is Liverpool’s huge St Patrick’s Day Parade that has currently been running for five years. Beginning at 3pm at the Old Irish Centre on Mount Pleasant, it winds its way noisily through the city centre streets to end outside O’Neill’s bar on Hanover Street. Expect lots of people to be dressed in the bright colours of the Irish flag, plenty of live musicians (including the Liverpool Irish Flute Band) and dance troupes performing traditional Irish jigs.
2. Listen to authentic Irish ditties at the Liverpool Irish Centre
Fun for all the family can be found at Liverpool’s Irish Centre at any time of the year – whether you have Irish heritage or not. However, on the 17th of March, the venue just east of the city centre hosts a huge celebration of both St Patrick and Irish culture. Try delicious Irish bites, tap your toes to live music performed by local Irish bands or try your hand at fun Irish Bingo. The event is free to enter before 6pm.
3. Tuck into some tasty Irish food
Ever wanted to try a hearty Irish stew? There’s no better day to finally tick it off your foodie bucket list than St Patrick’s Day. Thankfully, Liverpool is full of great Irish pubs where you can sample this classic Irish dish. Molly Malones on Victoria Street serves up a mouth-watering version, while The Flanagan’s Apple on Matthew Street feature a sumptuous steak and Guinness pie on their menu.
You’ll also spot Scouse stew on most pub menus – it’s a local Liverpudlian dish that’s thought to be inspired by Irish stew. If you’d rather begin your day with a full Irish fry up, book a table for breakfast at O’Neill’s.
Whether you’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day for the first time or it’s your favourite festival of the year, why not book train tickets to Liverpool in advance through TransPennine Express and enjoy a journey with us? Benefit from no booking fees and some of our best value travel offers.