By: Allison Keene|The Duquesne Duke
St. Patrick’s Day is an American staple. Every March 17, the country suddenly bursts with newly-minted Irishmen, celebrating with great enthusiasm an Americanized (and usually rowdy) version of Irish culture. Channeling your inner-Irishman is a must for this celebration, but not following the St. Patrick’s Day rules can be a risky choice. Check out our list of survival tips for this weekend’s festivities and arm yourself – trust us, you don’t want to anger the leprechauns!
Green is the color of the Emerald Isle, shamrocks, fairies’ coats and, most importantly, your outfit this weekend. Not only is this the traditional color of Ireland and the reason for its (well-earned) nickname of the Emerald Isle, but throwing on a green necklace or t-shirt this weekend will save you a lot of abuse from your fellow Irishmen. Revelers are particularly emphatic when it comes to this cardinal rule of St. Patrick’s Day: wear green or face a rash of pinches. Save yourself a sore arm and invest in a little green. At the very least, it will appease the leprechauns.
Respect the Leprechauns
Leprechauns are sensitive creatures. They don’t like to be told they don’t exist on any day, but especially not on the day that they’re most mischievous. Don’t let one overhear you saying that you don’t believe in them; they’re much less understanding than fairies and don’t abide by all this “clap if you believe” nonsense by way of apology. When a leprechaun is peeved, pranks are sure to follow, so respect their tiny green selves and at least pretend you believe for the day. If you don’t, don’t be surprised if your wallet goes missing, your hot water’s broken, or your car won’t start. They’re crafty little things, and certainly not shy about making your day just a teensy bit difficult. A professional tip for the consummate worrier who wants to stay on The Little Peoples’ good side: leprechauns are particularly fond of those spare gold coins you have jangling around your pockets.
Channel Your Inner Irishman
You may not have a speck of that warm Irish blood in you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend on St. Patrick’s Day. Throw on some green clothes, work on your brogue, and learn a few choice Irish phrases to sound especially authentic. Instead of asking how someone is faring on this fine Irish morning, ask them “How’s the craic?” literally translating to “How’s the fun?” or “What’s going on?” When describing something interesting, forgo the tired American adjective “awesome” and call it “grand” or “sound.” Perhaps the word from the Irish phrasebook that’s easiest to employ is the endearment “love,” since calling everyone you encounter this St. Patrick’s Day that “love” will make you seem delightfully Irish this weekend, even if your brogue still needs a little work. Also if you want to properly greet someone on this day ; say “Happy St. Paddy” and not “St. Patty.”
Go Shamrock Hunting
You’ll need all the luck you can get to navigate through this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so taking a fine tooth comb and raking the school’s lawns in search of four leaf clovers isn’t a bad idea. Saint Patrick used the more common three leaf clover as a symbol for the Christian trinity when he taught his religion to the Celts in Ireland, and its rare genetic offshoot cousin, the four leaf clover, has become a national symbol of good luck in Ireland. It’s a difficult find (about one four leaf for every 10,000 three leaf), but a four leaf clover pinned to your St. Patrick’s Day finery will definitely earn you some serious Irish respect this weekend.
Live to Jig Another Day
Just because you’re Irish for a day doesn’t mean you’ve imbibed yourself with their (stereotypical) legendary drinking prowess. Have fun, be merry, dance and sing along to a rousing rendition of “Wild Rover,” but don’t overdo it. Remember your limits, stay with friends and, should someone drink a little too much whiskey, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider taking the school shuttles to and from South Side or Oakland to save yourself the walk and make sure that you get back to campus safely. The Irish may have mastered drinking culture, but we humble Americans need to pace ourselves to survive this festive holiday.