No other holiday celebrates drinking and allows bars to play the ear-piercing music of bagpipes like St. Patrick’s Day. I think a commercial for Guinness summarizes the spirit of the holiday best. It shows three men wearing shamrock pajamas rushing down the stairs as if it were Christmas to unwrap green packages that are, needless to say, cases of Guinness.
Though the day originated as a religious holiday in Ireland to remember the death of St. Patrick, which is believed to be around 460 A.D. on March 17, it didn’t take long before the holiday spread to the United States. The day became filled with parades, green beer, green rivers and uncontrollable pinchers who will find anyone who’s not wearing green to pinch away relentlessly.
The holiday is not meant for just the Irish, but for all those in need of a good time to spend with friends and/or family at the bar after a long day. Or right after lunchtime, for those who decide to pretend they’re in Ireland and hit the pub before noon. Ironically, before the 1970s all pubs in Ireland were closed in observance of St. Patty’s Day, and the day was simply a religious occasion to be respected in church.
That’s no longer the case, and if you plan to observe St. Patrick’s Day, there are a few tips and facts to know to make the day more Irish:
-If you’re not Irish and feel left out, just put an O’ before your last name for a temporary Irish surname.
-Make sure you wear green to show your spirit for St. Patty’s Day so that you don’t get pinched. (Any Notre Dame apparel is recommended even though this past season was the Fighting Irish’s third losing season in five seasons. Go Irish!)
-If you forget to wear green, tell anyone in pinching distance that you will gladly return his or her pinch with a punch.
-If you are wearing green, go ahead and pinch anyone who isn’t.
-Be sure to go to a local bar that’s Irish (or just sounds Irish) and treat yourself to a drink.
-If the bar you’re at should play Irish songs such as “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” or “Danny Boy,” go ahead and sing along if you know the words. If you don’t know the words just have a couple more drinks and soon you will, or at least you will think you do.
-Find a temporary tattoo of a shamrock to wear for luck, but don’t get a real tattoo; in the end because it won’t actually give you good luck.
-Don’t put on any shamrocks with face paint. It just looks ridiculous on adults. In fact, most children even look scary when they wear face paint.
-Don’t dress up like a leprechaun either. It may freak out some people.
-Keep in mind that leprechauns aren’t real and that there is not a pot of gold. Instead buy a scratch off ticket with a leprechaun or pot of gold on it.
-Some would recommend a meal of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. But let’s be honest — corned beef is not the best slice of meat. I’ll take stew instead.
-Know that U2 is the greatest rock group to ever come out of Ireland. A few might even argue they’re the greatest band ever.
-Remember that the phrase “Erin Go Bragh” means “Ireland forever.”
-Know what a banshee is and if you don’t, then rent Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
-Rent Darby O’Gill and the Little People anyway or The Quiet Man.
And if you’re going to celebrate the day based on the true story, you should know that St. Patrick didn’t banish the snakes from Ireland. That is just a myth that has been told for many centuries. Instead, St. Patrick is known for founding hundreds of churches and converting many to Christianity. And if you have a drink with your friends Wednesday, be sure to know the Gaelic toast to your health, SlÃ inte.
Grace Agostin is a senior majoring in mass communications. firstname.lastname@example.org