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How to pretend to be Irish

All you non-Irish people have a dilemma on your hands. St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and I know you’re all asking yourself a question. How can you possibly enjoy, no endure, an Irish holiday if you’re not Irish, especially in Boston, where the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held? Follow these tips to embrace the spirit of the holiday and have some fun while you’re at it, Irish or not.


10. Go gaudy or Go home.

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 1.17.04 PMSure, you can just wear anything green in your closet and be considered spirited.  But to be fully, in-your-face gaudy Irish you’re going to want to look for the slogan shirts that are real popular among fifth graders. Slogans like “Kiss me I’m Irish” and “the leprechaun made me do it” are just gaudy enough to be fun and hilarious in a childish kind of way. If you don’t have access to there materials, I’m sorry. This is what you get for leaving your leprechaun plans for the last minute.


9. Pretend leprechauns exist.

Initiate an Irish themed prank war.

Initiate an Irish themed prank war.

In third grade we had an assignment to build a leprechaun trap. We left them out overnight and when we returned to school the next day, gold coins were left in each trap and a note from the leprechauns was on the board in green chalk. Unfortunately we’re no longer in third grade, but you can still pretend leprechauns exist by playing a “prank” on your roommate.


8. All green everything.

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Everything needs to be green. I mean EVERYTHING. Dye your hair. Stock up on green face paint and cover your entire body. Stock up on green food coloring and put it in everything you eat and drink. Extra points if you add the other colors of the Irish flag, orange and white, into the mix.


7. Don’t forget the traditional Irish drinks.

You must pay homage to all Irish drinks! Irish coffee, green milk, whatever you will. The Irish believe that if you float a shamrock on top of your whiskey before drinking it, called “drowning the shamrock,” you will have a prosperous year. Enhance your party experience with an Irish drinking song. Don’t forget to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day responsibly!


6. Brush up on your facts.

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You wouldn’t want people to think you’re an ignorant leprechaun, would you? Memorize these little factoids and use them on everyone you know, whether you’re going to a party or just walking around campus. Prime example? It’s St. Paddy’s Day. Not St. Patty’s Day.


5. Speak with a brogue all day.


Be sure to begin your day by saying, “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!” Your accent will probably be wrong and will probably annoy your roommates and fellow party-goers, but tell them you’re embracing the holiday better than they are. Include phrases like, “Erin go bragh,” which means “Ireland forever.”


4. Eat something “magically delicious.”

Courtesy of Renee Comet

Courtesy of Renee Comet/Wikimedia Commons

My mom makes corned beef and cabbage every St. Patrick’s Day for my 100 percent Irish dad. Corned beef basically makes me want to barf, so usually I’ll just grab a bowl of Lucky Charms. Just THINKING about Lucky the Leprechaun saying, “They’re after me Lucky Charms!” really helps me embrace my Irish roots. Remember that when you find no real Irish food at your St. Patrick’s Day party.


3. Learn from example: watch other people be Irish.


Maybe you don’t have plans but still want to embrace the spirit of the holiday. There are tons of movies that will help you do just that. It goes without saying that the Disney original movies take reign over basically everything. You know what that means – Luck of the Irish, a classic about a boy who must fight off an evil leprechaun. Also consider Leap Year, a comedy that involves romance, Irish tradition, and a few sticky situations. Another perhaps less involved choice is The Departed, a flick set in Boston about the Irish mob. Watching portrayals of Irish people on a screen is a great way to cope with the fact that you’re not Irish.


2. Begin your search for luck.

If it’s a nice day, you might as well start your probably lifelong search for that four-leaf clover. Legend has it that the first leaf of the clover means hope, the second means faith, the third means love, and the fourth means luck. Don’t get too excited – some statistics say that for every four-leaf clover, there are 10,000 three-leaf clovers. It might be hard to find a clover patch in the middle of Boston, though. You can always turn back to your Lucky Charms and its clover-shaped marshmallows for now.


1. Don’t let anyone know you’re not Irish.

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I’m only saying this because no one really cares whether or not you’re Irish. That will not prevent anyone from participating in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Everyone is Irish on March 17th!

Screenshots by Emily Akin/Gavel Media