Celebrating St Patrick's Day - Afea Care Services
March 14th 2024

Millions of people, including Australia’s Irish population, will be celebrating St Patrick’s Day on 17 March.

St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish history and culture. According to the latest Australian census, 9.5% of respondents reported Irish ancestry. Irish was also among the top 5 most common ancestry among first, second and third generation Australians.

We sat down with two Irish Afeans, Marian and Keith, for a conversation about their life in Sydney and how they celebrate this international festival on a different continent.

We also play a short True/False quiz about St Patrick’s Day. Play along and see if you can get the correct answers!

Marian is our Care Manager-Registered Nurse and hails from Cork, while Accommodation Manager Keith is from Waterford in Ireland. Cork and Waterford “are right next to each other,” Marian shares.

We ask them about their first impressions of Australia.

First impressions

“I arrived in November 2021, so lockdown was just finishing,” Marian says. “I was on the steps in Coogee at 6am on a Saturday morning and everyone was swimming and cycling and running and that’s not really the norm at home. My first impression was a bit like, what was everyone doing?” But now she says she’s one of the early birds waking up at 6am to exercise in Coogee!

Keith, on the other hand, arrived in 2017. “So I’ve been here a little bit longer.”  

He says living in Australia is a childhood dream. “My first impressions of Australia were, Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m here. I enjoyed the beautiful hot weather, and just the vastness of Sydney compared to where I’m from in Ireland.”

How do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is credited to bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle. While St Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast, it has grown to become a festival celebrated all around the world with parades, music, dancing and fireworks displays.

“Since I’ve been in Australia, we celebrate St Patrick’s Day by going to the Mercantile Hotel, which is just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” Marian shares. “And we drink and we dance and we have a great craic all day long.”

For his part, Keith says he “doesn’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day like I used to. I’m a little bit older and a little bit wiser. I just spend time with my family and with friends online.”

How did he celebrate it before? “It’s kind of a tradition in Ireland that you head to the pub and have many, many pints of beer,” Keith says. (Please drink moderately!)

If you want to know more about how our diverse staff can support you, reach out to us now!

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