Photo via Wikimedia: Iryna Fedorovska

We might still be locked in the chokehold of winter, but that won’t stop New Yorkers from painting themselves in green and bravely navigating through bone-chilling wind temperatures to make it to their favorite bar on Saint Patrick’s Day. Taking place on March 17, the religious celebration (also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick) traditionally commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, in addition to celebrating the cultural heritage of the Irish.

In New York City, you can expect festivities to be grand. While there will certainly be parades and parties, the city also offers a plethora of more quirky, off-the-beaten track activities, ranging from special drink offerings to glass blowing classes. See below for a lineup of upcoming events:

1. Grab a Free Book on St. Patrick’s Day

Photo via Flickr: Eden, Janine and Jim

What’s better than receiving things for free? In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, The Irish Arts Center, in association with the New York City Council, the New York State Assembly, Literature Ireland, and El Museo del Barrio, will be distributing free books to New Yorkers across all five boroughs.

The tradition has been taking place since 2011, and bookworms can receive their free copies of literature by Irish, Caribbean and American authors by heading to one of a dozen Book Day pop-up stands. Visit irishartscenter.org to look up locations and times. The event will begin at 9am and run until all the books are given out.

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