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St. Patrick’s Day starter kit: Everything you’ll need to feel the luck of the Irish



As winter term’s stress-filled dead week comes to a close, many students are looking for any type of distraction they can to relieve them from their school-induced anxiety. Thankfully, there’s good news. St. Patrick’s day is this Friday. Although there may not be the usual wild party atmosphere you’d expect due to upcoming finals, there’s still plenty of time for celebration. Here’s everything you’ll need to ensure that this year’s St. Patty’s Day is one to remember. 

History

Everyone claims that they’re Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, there are actually more Irish Americans than actual Irish citizens — a lot more. According to a Census Bureau study, there are 34.7 million Americans who claim to have Irish ancestry. That’s seven times more than the actual population of Ireland, but not everyone has the Celtic knowledge to back it up. Here’s a few facts that will make you seem like a true Irelander, whether or not you actually are.

  • St. Patrick (385-461) wasn’t actually Irish. The man who is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” was actually born in the U.K.  After becoming a Bishop, Patrick popularized Catholicism in the Emerald Isle as a missionary.
  • St. Patrick is celebrated for ridding Ireland of all snakes, but according to National Geographic, snakes haven’t inhabited Ireland since the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. The snakes are believed to be a thinly veiled metaphor for pagans.
  • The holiday is celebrated annually on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death, March 17. While it’s a national holiday in Ireland and an official feast day for the Catholic Church, countries across the world participate in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
  • The popular shamrock imagery derives from his explanation of the holy trinity to the Irish people using its leaves. Since then, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with decorations of shamrocks and the plant’s color.

Wear

Don’t be the one person who doesn’t wear any green on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether it’s just a four leaf clover sticker or a full on leprechaun outfit or somewhere in between, find something that will keep pinching fingers away. For those who are looking to really up their St. Patty’s wear and support the Ducks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, check out the officially licensed Irish themed sports gear at the Duck Store.

Eat

The Irish don’t have the greatest culinary reputation. Their diet is mostly comprised of dishes that feature boiled, baked, mashed and any other possible forms of bland  potatoes. Don’t let that keep you from eating well on Friday. There are plenty of tasty Irish recipes that will hit the spot too.

For people who are looking to commit to a traditional Irish dinner, corned beef with cabbage is the answer. Nothing is more Irish than this traditional meal. Slowly roast the corned beef in a sea of cabbage and other assorted vegetables for a tender, juicy meal.

This Irish soda bread recipe is a great way for people to put something in their stomach before going out for a long night of drinking. It’s quick and easy, but surprisingly full of flavor. Just toss eggs, flour and sugar into a pan then put it in the oven on low heat for an hour and it’ll be ready for consumption.

Like chocolate cake? Then finish off the night with a Irish cream chocolate cheesecake that is guaranteed to hit the spot. This recipe is a traditional Irish dessert that combines Bailey’s Irish Cream with a cookie crumb-filled crust to make a rich and filling dessert.

Drinks

If there’s one thing that the Irish take more seriously than drinking, it’s drinking Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. What would St Patrick’s Day be without Ireland’s world-famous beer? For over 250 years, this traditional stout has been brewed from slow-roasted hops that give it a smooth, dark flavor. When preparing for the holiday, just be aware that people’s eyes might be bigger than their stomachs when it comes to drinking Guinness. College students often aren’t able to down these dark brews quite as easily as the light beer they’re used to drinking. If the dark tones of Guinness are too much, then try a pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout. It has a light and sweet flavor, but it still packs the same Irish authenticity.

Many people want to celebrate the Irish’s tradition of drinking on this holiday but don’t want all the calories that come with drinking beer. Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson’s Irish Whiskey are great substitutes. Mix either Bailey’s or Jameson’s with strong coffee and top it with whipped cream to make Irish Coffee. For those who don’t want to spend their Friday sipping on coffee, try taking a shot of an Irish Flag: Just combine Bailey’s with creme de menthe and Licor 43 to form a green-orange-white colored shot.

Can’t decide between drinking beer and mixed drinks? No need to decide. Try an Irish Car Bomb. Just drop a shot of Bailey’s and Jameson’s into a pint of Guinness and chug. Most people decide to chug the drink as quickly as possible because the Bailey’s will curdle if left sitting for too long.

Be mindful of Irish stereotypes and drink responsibly.

For more drinking tips, check out the Emerald’s do’s and dont’s of campus barhopping  

Follow Zach Price on Twitter: @zach_price24

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Zach Price

Zach Price

Zach Price covers the music beat as a staff writer for the A&C desk at the Emerald.