It’s St. Patrick’s Day! After 364 days---a near barren wasteland of no shamrock necklaces or leprechaun paraphernalia to be seen---it is now time to spend a whole day with those things! The history of St Patrick’s Day isn’t just one filled with drunk people screeching top of the marning to ya all day, of course. It’s the celebration of Patrick’s death, which seems pretty morose until you remember that Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and not just some guy you met a few times at a party who seems pretty nice! All Patrick’s seem pretty nice at first! Anyway, it’s a real holiday, steeped in rich traditions that we have ruined. For example: you wear green because it honors St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock to explain the holy trinity to idiots who couldn’t count to three, I guess. And another example: you drink on this holiday because the Catholic Church lifted their alcohol restrictions on this day and allowed everyone to drink. Big mistake! HUGE! Now it’s just a straight up binge drink holiday for most. However, if you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with dignity and respect, I give you some tips below:
1. . Educate Yourself About The Potato Famine
The Irish famine was an awful period of mass starvation and rampant disease, occurring between the years of 1845-1852. In this seven-year span, 1 million people lost their lives, and another million left Ireland for…less green pastures? Ireland is very green. The cause? You guessed it! All the potatoes got very sick with dry rot, and considering that potatoes were the source of food for most of Ireland’s peasants, this was a problem. Anyway, if you want to read more about the political unrest that lead up to this chaos, and the chaos that followed after, perhaps pull up the Wikipedia article while you’re eating gravy-soaked French Fries at a pub with a C health code rating. It’ll provide context to the food! And also probably bum everyone out.
2. . Debunk Myths About St. Patrick To Those Around You
There’s something about being super into St. Patrick’s Day that screams ‘I really love being white.’ I’m mostly kidding about this! It’s cool! I get being into your culture and traditions and all that jazz, and it’s neat that you get to celebrate those things on a day that pretty much just condones street drinking. But a few reminders: St. Patrick was actually born in England (or Wales, or possibly Scotland). His real name was Maewyn. He was famous for getting rid of all the snakes in Ireland, but there probably weren’t ever any snakes in Ireland. And corned beef isn’t considered a native Irish food, it’s more of an Irish-American thing. The British probably named it Corned Beef. Just some food for thought!
3. . Don't Drink Green Beer
Come on. Green beer isn’t even an Irish tradition. It’s complete nonsense that shows you have awful taste in beer, or that you don’t have enough dignity to shell out a few more dollars for much better tasting beer. Drink regular colored beer, like Guinness, which is a real Irish beer that tastes like chocolate and good decisions. Green beer tastes like bad decisions. Or drink Irish Whiskey, which I like to do with Diet Coke because I’ve surpassed that part of my life where I pretend I’m a cool girl who only drinks whiskey on the rocks. I’m not cool. Whiskey rips my stomach apart.
4. . Enough With The Pinching
I do not get the pinching thing. It’s childish and it strikes fear into the heart of regular people like me who don’t look that good in green. And the tradition behind it? Well, it came from the idea that leprechauns can’t see you if you wear green, and leprechauns were known for pinching everybody in sight. A) Why would we ever want to find leprechauns if they are that terrible and stupid? B) If this WAS true, then shouldn’t we wear green all the time because a bunch of creepy little leprechauns were trying to pinch us all day? It all sounds so awful. Keep your thumb and middle fingers to yourself. Also: down with leprechauns! Let's get them out of this holiday all together, on account of how evil they are portrayed in every movie I've seen about them.
5. . Celebrate At Home!
You can watch the parade on television. You can make Guinness Beef Stew, or Irish Soda Bread, or stewed cabbage, or whatever labor-intensive, strongly-scented Irish food you are inclined to make. You can blast Celtic music and do Irish Car Bombs to your little heart’s content. You can avoid crowds, and refuse to be give into the herd mentality of the green-wearing masses. And then the subways won’t smell like pee and the streets will be free of green confetti and everyone will be happy! Stay home! Do your part!