[Movie still from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros.]
Brace yourselves for drunk strangers in novelty hats talking about their ‘Irish heritage’, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day once more! This Irish holiday has its roots in a saint who brought Christianity to Ireland (according to the tales), but it’s devolved into a great excuse for a mid-March party across the Western world.
It’s also one of the few major holidays that we didn’t see celebrated in the Harry Potter series. Many of the books described the stunning holiday decorations that Hogwarts put up for Christmas (who can forget the Yule Ball?), and both Halloween and Valentine’s Day made it into the series. However, the big drinking holidays – New Year’s Eve and St Patrick’s Day – were noticeably absent from Harry’s adventures. That’s presumably because J K Rowling didn’t want to include students getting drunk in her YA wizarding adventures.
Or the holiday may have been omitted because St. Patrick himself wouldn’t have been a big favorite of the wizarding community. This particular saint is known for driving the ‘snakes’ out of Ireland - a euphemism for all the pagans and druids. The witches and wizards of Great Britain may not be too inclined to celebrate someone who was so vehemently anti-magic…
Whatever the reason, we love to imagine celebrating any holiday in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few things that we could see happening at the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on March 17th…
Leprechauns and Leprechaun Gold
There would definitely be some leprechaun gold making the rounds at Hogwarts. Hagrid has already used this disappearing cash in a lesson about nifflers, so we know that it’s not too hard to find, and we can imagine it being used to great effect in decorations. However the Great Hall is decorated, we know it would look absolutely stunning. Perhaps an enchantment making the floor look like a lush meadow dotted with clover?
A History Of Irish Magic
Professor Binns didn’t let death stop him from teaching, so he definitely wouldn’t let a little thing like a holiday get in the way of a lesson! We’d love to see him teach young witches and wizards about the real history of magic in Ireland. Queen Maeve, for example, is an Irish witch from the middle ages who taught young witches and wizards before the founding of Hogwarts. Fingal the Fearless, the early Animagus Cliodna, and the giant Morholt are other famed Irish figures that Binns could cover.
Fantastic Irish Beasts
Hagrid would have a field day with all the Irish beasties in the Potterverse. In addition to those mischievous leprechauns, Hagrid would probably be most interested in the Banshee – as he’d probably say, they’re just misunderstood creatures. These dark-robed women can kill with a scream, but a laughing potion can best them. Other Irish creatures include the Augurey (a bird that can predict the rain), the Moke (an expandable lizard whose skin is used to make bags), and the Porlock (a small horse guardian). Hagrid could even host some Merrows (Irish merpeople) in the Black Lake as special guests for the celebrations.
[Movie still from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Warner Bros.]
Party at the Three Broomsticks
After the lessons are done for the day, it’s celebration time! No St. Paddy’s celebration would be complete without a bit of a knees up, and we’re sure that some of the older students would be sneaking out to join in. The Three Broomsticks is sure to be packed on St Paddy’s Day as students crowd in for a Butterbeer (or five) and even the teachers might come down for a tipple. Some Irish Firewhisky is sure to get knocked back, and we’re certain that Madam Rosmerta can come up with a charm to prevent any tricksters paying with leprechaun gold at the end of the night.
Luckily, Madam Pomfrey (who never seems to question any injury) is bound to have a stock of hangover-curing potions… and not just for the students. Can you imagine Professor Flitwick after a night of heavy drinking?
We hope you all have a magical St Paddy’s day this year!