Saint Patrick’s Day needs little introduction. But how much do you know about the real reasons behind the ritual, where everyone drinks Guinness, wears crazy green outfits and sings along to cheery Irish music?
The day has significant religious importance to all Christians, particularly Roman Catholics. The religious connotations probably don’t come as a huge surprise, given that the day is named after a saint. However, did you know that St. Patrick was not even Irish? In fact, he didn’t even enter the country until he was 16 after being taken as a slave by Irish raiders!
Not being born Irish doesn’t appear to be any impediment in becoming a Patron Saint of Ireland and having your own annual holiday. Any Christian missionaries out there at the moment should bear that in mind.
Anyway, we digress…
Is there more to enjoying St. Paddy’s Day than drinking Ireland’s number one national export? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because there’s a whole host of crazily Irish shenanigans to get up to on March 17th, and no because most of them involve the enthusiastic consumption of Guinness – responsibly, of course!
So in the interest of perpetuating the gorgeously green stereotypes, just for St Patrick’s Day here are 5 outrageously clichéd ways to celebrate Ireland:
1) Discover your Inner Michael Flatley and take Irish dancing lessons
Let’s face it – not everyone can dance. But don’t let that stop you! While Irish dancing is not easy to learn, it does have its benefits. Reportedly famous Irish dancer Michael Flatley felt that it was necessary for him to indulge in sex before every performance. Based on that theory, you could do the same before dancing. You do the maths.
2) Put the ‘Best of the Corrs’ on repeat
It is a sad indictment against the Irish that one of their most popular musical exports over the previous decades has been The Corrs. Still, you could celebrate the Irish music industry by putting ‘The Best of The Corrs’ on repeat until you cannot bear listening to it any longer. This may not take long.
Of course, if you have slightly heavier musical tastes, there’s always The Cranberries or for the authentic beer sodden vibe go for The Pogues. (Shh, don’t say U2).
3) Have a Hurl
No, we’re not talking about dispensing of your mussels and Guinness in a rather unflattering manner. The sport of Gaelic hurling is quite a challenge. It means getting your head around some pretty confusing rules, as well as layout of the field and goals. It’s also reputedly one of the world’s fastest field team games.
If you’re keen to organise a game of hurling the biggest issue is finding the space. Your best bet is to head to your nearest park, which invariably will be busy. If the game is as fast-paced as they say it is, a space in the park should quickly clear for you once you start ‘hurling’ those sticks around.
4) Catch a leprechaun and get him to lead you to his pot of gold
This is probably the most challenging suggestion of them all. First, you must catch a leprechaun. Word is that they like to spend their spare time making shoes and usually live in the woods. They also tend to avoid people, so your quest could be fraught with difficulties.
Once you have caught one, you need to convince it to lead you to their pot of gold which is supposedly at the end of a rainbow. Obviously, weather conditions play an important role in this exercise.
If you succeed in reaching the pot of gold, you may well be the luckiest person on the planet. Or perhaps, insane. Or, most likely, just too many Guinnesses and whiskeys into the evening.
5) And afterwards – on to the Craic
We recommend that you head to your nearest Irish pub for some post-activity drinking and to regale your Irish heritage to anyone who will listen, even if you don’t actually have any.
You may already be looking rather green by this stage in proceedings, and we’re not just talking about your Irish-themed attire. A word of advice – if you actually see a leprechaun, you should probably stop drinking.
TOP IMAGE: Via Pixabay