A photo of a lot of green clover

There are certain holidays on the calendar that can seem daunting to people in recovery. March 17 certainly qualifies.

However, the Irish holiday can be celebrated in more meaningful ways for those in recovery.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held each year on March 17, the day the foremost patron saint of Ireland died in 461 A.D.

However, most regard March 17 as a day dedicated to consuming alcohol, furthering a stereotype of the Irish as heavy drinkers. Interestingly, the original intentions of the holiday are to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrate authentic Irish culture.

Still, the luck of the Irish is just as accessible to those in recovery. Of course, staying away from bars and outdoor festivals where drinking is prevalent is a given if you are new to recovery. Going to a meeting on March 17, even more than one if necessary, can stave off urges, boredom and loneliness. Nevertheless, many communities and organizations offer authentic, sober St. Patrick’s Day experiences for family and friends in recovery.

Sober St. Patrick’s Day Options:

Irish Family Focus

Many groups host alcohol-free and family friendly St. Patrick’s Day events. The celebrations feature food, Irish step dancers, musicians and activities that highlight the true culture of Ireland.

Have Fun, Go for a Run

Frequently, community organizations plan 5Ks and other fitness challenges around March 17. You can help raise money for a good cause and participate in the ultimate healthy activity.

Everyone Loves a Parade

Most communities host an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade or related event. Most parades lead to carnival like celebrations where you can enjoy authentic Irish cuisine from food trucks and shop for Irish crafts.

Make It Your Own

Create some new Irish-inspired traditions for yourself, friends and family. Plan a day with sober friends. Try your hand at making a new recipe such as Traditional Irish Stew. Go to your favorite meeting and get support from your recovery network. Play some Irish trivia games, create some Irish crafts, watch an Irish film or listen to Irish music. You can provide a safe, fun and sober space for your friends in recovery by celebrating true Irish culture.

Of course, everyone should remember to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day to avoid getting pinched. That remains necessary. Enjoy a sober, festive and fun March 17 with your family and friends.