St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, the day when the small but mighty percentage of the world population that’s Irish gets everyone else absolutely wrecked.
There’s no denying that in recent years, St. Paddy’s Day has become something of an excuse for everyone to have a great time.
So here’s our Top 10 tips to surviving the day on March 17; some related to drinking, some to brushing up on your Irish lore.
Book March 18 off work
A lot of us like a drink, but there’s nothing that quite kills the good time vibes than that lurking feeling of anxiety as you glance at your watch and realise you have to be up for work in seven hours.
It just relieves so much unnecessary stress to know you’re in the all clear. Your boss will know for a fact your reasoning for booking time off, but what’s statutory holiday pay for if not for getting blathered, right?
Be prepared to drink nothing but Guinness
Ordering anything other than Guinness on a St. Patrick’s night out feels insanely wrong.
It seems to occupy its own sub-genre of drinks that cannot be replicated by any other brand. Even your darkest of dark ales will be quickly sniffed out as a fraud.
Request anything other than a meal in a glass (because that is essentially what Guinness is), and you’ll be laughed out of the bar.
Get your Irish accent down
While it’s pretty much accepted that everyone everywhere celebrates St. Patrick’s Day now, it’s still possibly you might actually run into a genuine, bona fide Irish person wherever you might be.
In which case, you might feel compelled to hide the fact that you’re not actually Irish, and may have to resort to a carefully trained accent. But tread carefully young padawan…
Get the RIGHT Irish accent down
You’ll look a right plum if you fall for the old tired stereotypes.
Turn everything green
If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand the sight of the colour green: 1) Get over it – you’re an adult now, and 2) You’re not going to have a very successful St. Patrick’s Day.
Everything should be as green and shamrock hued as possible. Green pizza? Green beer? It can all be done! Remember, food colouring is your friend.
Get the right food prepared for your guests
If your having St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at your place (you’re braver than most), then be sure to provide some authentic food too: the culinary delights of the Emerald Isle are varied and tasty in equal measure.
They’re also – nine times out of 10 – stodgy enough to line that stomach into a barrier impervious to even the warmest stout.
Irish stew is a favourite, along with soda bread, colcannon (potato and kale), and, erm… boiled pigs feet. Apparently.
Learn some Gaelic
If you really want to push the boat out and pick up some bonus Irish authenticity points, you could put the extra leg work in and learn yourself some traditional Irish phrases.
Here are a few we think will really come in handy:
Tá pionta Guinness le do thoil! – A pint of Guinness please!
An bhfuil fuair tú aon arán sóide níos mó? – Have you got any more soda bread?
Cén fáth go bhfuil gach rud mar sin glas? – Why is everything so green?
Swat up on the story of St. Patrick
You wouldn’t want to be caught out when someone admonishes your ludicrous levels of drinking and asks you why St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in the first place, would you?
St. George defeated the dragon, St. David created a new hill on Wales or something (our history’s not up to much), and St. Andrew has too many achievements to list here.
St. Patrick? He drove the snakes out of Ireland.
Bonus fact: There were never any snakes in Ireland; the word was simply an allegory for Druids.
Prepare for a long day
The Irish don’t do things by halfs. As soon as the local is open, St. Patrick’s Day festivities will be in full swing, and will probably continue long after said local has closed too.
Be prepared for a long day of drinking. Rest up the day before. Plan your bar crawl routes taking into account everything from toilet breaks to snack stops, and above all else stock up on your hangover cure of choice (it’s paracetamol, Lucozade and the mintiest shower gel you can legally get your hands on for us).
Look, we get it. St. Patrick’s Day may just come across as a big excuse for everybody to get plastered because, well… it is.
And that’s not for everyone. The more health conscious out there may realise that sinking pints of a liquid through which no light can pass can’t be good for you gut, and in that case, we won’t look down upon anyone who chooses to spend their March 17 inside marathoning through a TV series.
But hey, at least make it Father Ted or something?