It’s all about ‘the craic’.

The annual St Patrick’s Day party is just around the corner – and everyone’s invited! But is there more to this annual celebration than Guinness, shamrocks and a love of ‘the craic’? Here’s your need-to-know guide to what, why and how to celebrate a story that began on the Emerald Isle – but has well and truly gone global!

First things first… who was St Patrick?

So, it seems Ireland’s favourite son may originally have been a Brit. Apparently, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped to a monastery in France, converted to Christianity and returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish. After his death on March 17, 461, he was named Ireland’s patron saint and remembered on this date ever since.

Thanks, but enough of the history lessons… when can we start celebrating?

There’s certainly no shortage of options. These days, St Patrick’s Day is a truly global celebration and wherever there is an Irish population, there’s going to be a party! Irish communities will be planning parades, events and activities that celebrate all that’s good about Irish identity.

Celebrating in style – and in space.

Never let it be said that the Irish let anything get in the way of a celebration – it’s even been commemorated in space. Irish astronaut, Chris Hadfield, marked the occasion in 2013 by dressing up in green, taking photos of Ireland from orbit and posted a video of himself singing Danny Boy on the International Space Station. Now that’s commitment!

What about a little closer to home?

Aussies’ rarely need a good excuse to throw a party, and St Patrick’s Day is celebrated up and down the country. That’s not surprising, when you consider that about 30% of Australians can claim come Irish ancestry.

If you want to join in the celebrations, why not find out about parades that are taking place near you. They’re a popular part of the day in some of our cities and a great way to kick-start the celebrations. There may also be activities laid on for children. Sydney, for instance, is transforming The Rocks into an Irish Village for a day this year! Find out what else is happening near you here.

Guinness is good for you.

After that, you might want to head to your local Irish pub for a pint of the black stuff! Guinness is an essential aspect of St Patrick’s Day celebrations, so it would be rude not to, right? Live music, dancing and games will all be lined up, so don’t be too surprised if you stay for ‘just one more’. After all, according to all the ads… Guinness is good for you. Sláinte!