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  • 10 Ways to Host an Italian St. Patrick's Feast
    Infuse your heritage into the Irish holiday
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    No one likes a party more than the Italians, except maybe the Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Just because the Irish own St. Patty's Day doesn't mean the Italians can't make their mark. And who's going to stop them from celebrating anyway? The more, the merrier, right? So, embrace your inner leprechaun, known to the Italians as gnomo, and start celebrating. Here are some suggestions on how to Italian-ify St. Patrick's Day:

    10. Drink green, red, and white beer in honor of the Italian flag. I am not sure how you can manage this. But I'm imagining using food coloring, just as you would for green beer. Or maybe you could make green beer and serve with a stirrer with the Italian flag on it. Then again, Italians might start a new tradition by drinking wine on St. Patty's Day instead of beer.

    9. Serve pizza and antipasto with the beer (or wine). Italians are nothing without their cuisine. And, frankly, an Italian celebration wouldn't be complete without the food, too. You could also opt for spaghetti and meatballs or some other traditional Italian dish.

    8. Remind everyone of St. Patrick's Italian ties. His parents were Roman, so he was actually a paesano. Who knew?

    7. Refer to the saint as San Patrizio, which is the Italian translation of Patrick.

    6. Wave Italian flags at your local St. Patrick's Day parade. People might look at you funny, while their waving Irish flags, but you'll be showing pride in the homeland.

    5. Request kisses with buttons and shirts that say, “Kiss me, I'm Italian.” Known for affection, southern Italians might just dole out kisses without the request, so watch out for kissing bandits with an Italian accent.

    4. Swap daisies, Italy's national flower, for shamrocks at your celebration. And be sure to call the flower margherita, which is Italian for daisy.

    3. Host a parade with Italian flair. Few things could be more Italian than the drama, pageantry, and pomp and circumstance of a parade. Organizing one that has people singing the Italian national anthem – “Fratelli d'Italiaaaaaa…” – is all the more fun. You could do this with your own family in your home since outsiders might not understand why a bunch of Italians want to march on an Irish holiday.

    2. Indulge in San Giuseppe zeppoles. St. Patrick's Day is overshadowed by San Giuseppe's feast just two days later (March 19) in Italy. In fact, San Giuseppe's feast marks a time to eat zeppole and honor fathers (because of Joseph's role in Jesus' life). Eating the zeppoles on both St. Patrick's Day and San Giuseppe's day is a nice way to honor the saints, not to mention satisfy your sweet tooth. Let's face it, any excuse to eat extra zeppoles is a good one.

    And the number one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day like a good paesano is…

    1. ...by embracing the luck of the Italians, just as the Irish do the luck o' the Irish. After all, you're lucky to be Italian, thanks to Italy's rich history, beautiful art, beloved cuisine, and immeasurable riches.

    Di Meglio is the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com and you can follow her life and work at the Two Worlds Website.


    Article Published 2/09/12

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