10 Ways to Give St. Paddy’s Day the Good Ol’ College Try

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Break out the booze and pull on your greenery, it’s time for some Irish Yoga. St. Paddy’s falls on a Saturday this year. We won’t be surprised if it rains green Guinness across the globe. According to USA Today, America will consume 13 million pints of Guinness before the holiday’s end. The question is, how many of those 13 million will you claim?

Get your green on to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Emerald Beer

The irony of Guinness is that it’s so dark you can’t dye it green. Putting food coloring into a Guinness is like trying to draw a zebra with a white crayon. But if you throw a St. Paddy’s Day Party, you’ve got to have green beer. So what do you do? Well, green food coloring is actually very effective in lighter beers, i.e. pilsners, ales and so on. You’ll only achieve the true Irish-emerald color by mixing the dye with one of these amber-colored drinks. Fortunately plenty of lighter Irish beers like O’hara’s Irish Wheat should work nicely. Pro tip: Put in the food coloring first.

2. Traditional Irish Dinner

Not everyone enjoys waking up with a pounding headache and an angry stomach full of undigested booze. For those of us who are either sober for life or have too much homework, a traditional Irish dinner sounds like the best way to celebrate this pious day. What could be more satisfying than the heartiest cuisine Europe has to offer? You and a couple of good friends can shop, cook and eat together. Stew some potatoes and carrots, corned beef and radishes, and enjoy Irish pudding for dessert.

3. Make Green Icing Shamrock Cupcakes.

Put together some easy-to-make holiday cupcakes and blow your friends away. You can tempt even the English on this Irish holiday with a sweet little cupcake with a picture of a shamrock. Bring a batch of these holiday-themed treats to a party, set them out for your roommates or take them to your last class on Friday. Want to make things even easier? Bake some pre-made Shamrock cookies.

4. Play Irish Drinking Games

Drinking games are fun. Irish drinking games on Saint Patrick’s Day are even better. Of course, there may be thousands of these games, variations of which have been enjoyed in Ireland for centuries. Nevertheless, we’ve come up with a few classic suggestions to get you started.

Shot Potato

  • Participants: 6 to 10 people
  • Materials: Jameson’s Irish Whiskey (or any hard alcohol)
  • One shot glass
  • Stand in a circle. Pour a shot and pass it around the circle, without spilling it, while a sober (or unlucky) friend plays Irish music in the background. Whoever is holding the shot when the music stops has to drink it. Whoever spills the shot has to drink it. Play until the world turns green (you know, in a safe, non-alcohol-poisoning-inducing way).

Irish Poker Simple Variation

  • Participants: 6 to 10 people
  • Materials: Deck of Cards, Guinness, Jameson
  • Every player needs a full drink. Take all the face cards out of the deck except for the Ace of Spades. Deal every player four cards face down. The person to the left of the dealer begins by guessing whether or not he or she is going to turn over a black or red card. If he or she guesses correctly everyone else must drink for the number of seconds indicated on the card. Then if he or she guesses incorrectly then that person must drink. If someone gets the Ace of Spades, that person must take a shot with anyone he or she chooses.

5. Pub Crawl

Halloween and Saint Paddy’s are the two biggest holidays where you can dress up in a costume and get smashed with the people you love. While it’s offensive to wear a sombrero for Halloween, people from the Emerald Isle seem cool with you dressing up like a stereotypical Irish person in the name of Saint Patrick. If you live in a major city, then you won’t have trouble finding an Irish pub crawl on Saint Patrick’s Day. But more important than drinking during the holiday is spending it with people you love, so even if you can’t find a pub crawl, at least you can still get dressed up together. You’ll get pinched if you don’t wear green around some people.

6. Learn Irish Gaelic

Those of us who have even the slightest ability to use another language know how much fun it is to embark on a bilingual escapade. If you take the time to learn some Irish before the holiday arrives, then you can spend the day yelling Gaelic and surely impress everyone around you. Check out some useful Celtic sayings to get you started.

Is ait an mac an saol.

  • Pronunciation: Iss att on moc an say-ol
  • Meaning: Life is strange.
  • Every year we celebrate a 5th-century foreign saint by dressing in green and pounding Guinness until we puke. Life is strange.

Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste.

  • Pronunciation: Iss faar Gay-el-geh brish-teh naw Bay-er-lah clish-teh
  • Meaning: Broken Irish is better than clever English.
  • This is perhaps the most useful Irish saying you could learn, as the saying’s complexity precludes any chance of actually pronouncing it correctly.

Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón.

  • Iss min-ick a vrish bay-al din-eh a hrone
  • Meaning: Many a time a man’s mouth broke his nose.
  • Drink responsibly.

7. Prepare an Irish Playlist

It’s impossible not to smile when you hear fiddles and accordions bounding through the air, especially in a good ole’ Irish pub, when everyone is red-faced and singing along. But modern Irish music has its place as well, and, like Britain, some of the most famous musicians of the modern era hail from the Emerald Isle. From U2 to Sinead O’Connor, a good Irish playlist will take you through three decades and three parties and keep you begging for more. Pro tip: If you really want a rager, put on some Flogging Molly and watch partygoers lose their minds.

8. Learn Irish Dance

You don’t need to grind in a sweaty club when you can learn the best dance on earth: the Irish Step Dance. Imagine the bar scene from Titanic, where the crowd of poor but amiable passengers prove they know how to party like it’s 1909. If you learn some traditional Irish steps and then head to a real Irish pub for Saint Patrick’s Day, I guarantee you will have more fun than on any other Saturday outing throughout the year. Even the prep promises to be a good time. Invite a couple friends over and watch the videos we’ve attached below to learn how to dance like a true Irish Person.

9. Drink Guinness the “Right” Way

Guinness is the greatest beer every created by a human being. To fully experience the power of Guinness, go to a bar. If the bartender knows what he’s doing, he’ll pour the beer into an authentic Guinness pint glass at a 45 degree angle. The Guinness will look unfamiliar when it enters the glass. By the time the bartender has filled it to the top, it will appear as a light brown color, almost like chocolate milk. Let it settle. The liquid will darken before your very eyes. Let it become as dark as the good earth from whence Irish grass doth spring. Let it become truly opaque. Then, and only then, may you taste it. But make sure to sip it very slowly, catching the foam on your upper lip while taking into your mouth only a thimbleful of the actual beer. Let it sit on your tongue, then take a deep breath through your nostrils and savor the flavor.

10. Parade

Saint Patrick’s Day features some of the wildest parades of the year taking place throughout the country. Anyone living on the East Coast can choose between parades in New York, Rhode Island, Florida and all the states in between. After the Chicago Parade, make sure to check out the Chicago River, since every year magical Leprechauns dye it green. You can attend the famous Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Day Parade in St. Louis, Missouri, Ohio’s largest St. Paddy’s Day Parade in Cleveland and of course, all of the celebrations in Boston, the quintessential Irish city.

If you live in California, there are three major St. Patrick’s Day Parades to attend: one in San Diego, one in Sacramento, and one in San Francisco. For you Lakers, the Los Angeles Irish Fair and Festival is always guaranteed to be an incredible time. Texas has parades in Dallas and Houston, while even Hawaii hosts a parade through Waikiki. One thing’s for sure, no matter where you live in the states, there is a St. Patrick’s Day celebration taking place nearby.

College Magazine does not promote underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.

Selden Cummings is a junior at UC Berkeley. He likes to do all the things you like to do.

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