First things first: When is St. Patrick's Day? It falls annually on March 17, but there's so much more to know about it than why we wear green to match a shamrock or the verdant Emerald Isle.
"St. Patrick's Day is the most visible day for celebrating and learning about Irish culture," said Rachael Gilkey, director of programming and education at the Irish Arts Center in New York City.
And it's a prime time to find out more about the man the day honors. Mini-history: St. Patrick was born in Britain at the end of the 4th century. After enduring various trials, his mission became teaching people of Ireland about Christianity until his death on March 17, 461.
"Yes, St. Patrick's Day can be about wearing green, and, if even for one day, identifying as Irish," Gilkey told TODAY Parents. "But it's also about enjoying and learning about the music, dance, literature and food" of Ireland.
Throw 8-10 mint leaves Into a tall glass. Gently and briefly, so as not to break or bruise, use the back side of a bar spoon to press the leaves against the sides of the glass, until you can smell the mint.
To this, add absinthe and simple syrup. Stir to combine, and add seltzer. Top fully with ice, and and more seltzer if desired.
Garnish with as much mint as your glass will hold, giving the bunches a quick slap between the hands beforehand will release oils on the surface and make the mint more aromatic.
Lightly muddle ½ kiwi and 2 sprigs dill in a shaker.
Combine remainder of ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with kiwi slices and a black sea salt and crushed black pepper rim.
Old Oyster Factory Hilton Head Island S.C.
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup simple syrup
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 tiny drop of green food coloring
lime wedges for garnish
Combine ingredients, garnish with lime wheel and enjoy
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Pre-K and Kindergarten: Focus on folklore and fun
"St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday," Edward T. O'Donnell, associate professor of Irish-American studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., told TODAY. "But over time it has become a universal celebration of ethnic pride and Irish culture."
While legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock's three leaves to teach about the holy trinity, wee ones don't have to understand that as they get creative coloring shamrocks you can download or draw freehand.
Elementary grades: Learn about the "luck of the Irish"
Leprechauns aren't the friendliest fairies in the forest (ask Jennifer Aniston, who found out the hard way in her first big movie role). But they are known for luck.
"The Great Leprechaun Chase" is a charming new addition to author and illustrator James Dean's popular "Pete the Cat" kids' book series. In it the feisty feline tries to trap a leprechaun for luck, but learns where good fortune really comes from. That's a lesson as valuable as a pot of gold.
"Seeking out traditional Irish music and dance, going to an Irish storytelling hour (deepens the) embrace of Irish culture," says Gilkey. Local libraries and schools are good sources for live events. Or, cue up a Celtic music podcast or a bit of "Riverdance" to put some Irish spring in kids' steps.
High school: Channel St. Patrick
"Like some of the people we can admire from much more recent times, Patrick stayed true to his own beliefs while not unnecessarily alienating or antagonizing the people he was trying to persuade," said Mary D. McCain, a professor of Irish Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.
As such, teens could think about two or three ideas that are core to their beliefs right now and consider how they'd explain or defend these concepts to others.
The point, McCain said, is finding ways of explaining beliefs "in a way that respects the person they're talking to, even if they think the other person's beliefs or ideas are wrong."
On St. Patrick's Day and beyond, the need for such a skill is evergreen.
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US presidents and their St. Patrick's Day looks
US presidents and their St. Patrick's Day looks
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at an event with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. Varadkar is in Washington for a series of bilateral meetings as well as the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: U.S. President Donald Trump greets supporters at the White House following an event with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. Varadkar is in Washington for a series of bilateral meetings as well as the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L), US first lady Melania Trump (C) and Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar walk into the East Room of the White House March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland meets with US President Barack Obama in Oval Office of the White House on March 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama hosted the Irish Prime Minister in honor of St. Patricks Day on Sunday. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) is escorted by (L-R) Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) while leaving the U.S. Capitol on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and Kenny attended the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon, which usually coincides with St. Patricks's Day, hosted by the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), U.S. President Barack Obama, and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny walk down the steps on the House side of the U.S. Capitol after the Friends of Ireland luncheon March 20, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Boehner hosted Obama and Kenny for the annual celebration of St. Patrick?s Day. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (C) speaks with US President George W. Bush during a St. Patricks's Day Reception in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 17, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
402261 05: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) meets with (L-R) Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, John Reid, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, Mark Durkan and David Robert Ford March 13, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. Bush met with the Irish leaders as part of the annual St. Patricks Day celebrations. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) gives US President George W. Bush a bowl of shamarocks during a St. Patricks's Day Reception in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 17, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Bill Clinton picks a shamrock from a bowl given to him by Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the White House, March 17. President Clinton will host Irish leaders with a White House reception later in the day.
U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) and Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern walk to the Oval office of the White House after a traditional ceremony to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, March 17. President Clinton will host Irish leaders with a White House reception later in the day.
President Clinton confers with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (R) during a St. Patrick's Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol March 17. Ahern was expected to bestow a gift of shamrocks upon the president later in the afternoon at the White House.