What’s the Craic? Read This Post and You’ll Basically Be Irish

irish facts

What does ‘what’s the craic’ even mean? We’ll get to that in a bit.

Every year, we knock back a few Jamesons, sip on several Guinnesses, and eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day without knowing what we’re celebrating. (Most of us, anyway.)

Let’s change that. What was once a religious feast day honoring the life and death of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, has evolved into a cultural merrymaking in the form of festivals, parades, traditions, music, dancing, food, drink, and everything green.

Read on for Irish facts that’ll teach you how the Irish celebrate St. Paddy’s Day and what makes the country and its folk awesomely unique.

Interesting Irish Facts 

Trim, Ireland — where Braveheart was filmed (Photo by Jonathan Bowers on Unsplash)
  • It’s St. Paddy’s Day, absolutely not St. Patty’s Day. Patty is short for Patricia or a hamburger. Paddy is derived from Pádraig, the Irish version of Patrick. (Of all Irish facts, this one is probably the most common to get wrong. Don’t be that guy.)
  • The harp is more a symbol of Ireland than the shamrock; it’s the actual symbol of the country.
  • Blue, not green, was the original color associated with St. Patrick.
  • Irish people don’t drink as much as you think! Contrary to the often used stereotype, Ireland is seventh on the list for the most beer consumption after Czech Republic, Seychelles, Austria, Germany, Namibia, and Poland.
  • Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.
  • Cats now outnumber dogs by two to one as Ireland’s most popular pet.

Best Irish Movies to Watch

Source: Wikimedia

Skip the late-night drunk fest and cuddle with your boo to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day — or watch these movies anytime of the year to bring a wee bit o’ Ireland in your home!

Here is a list of Irish films to check out:

  • Sing Street (2016) – Rotten Tomatoes gives this feel-good musical and love story set in 1980’s Dublin a 95% rating on the Tomatometer.
  • Hunger (2008) – A Steve McQueen directed bio-drama starring Michael Fassbender, who plays Irish republican Bobby Sands who leads a hunger strike in a Northern Irish prison.
  • In the Name of the Father (1993) – This bio-drama about an innocent man being coerced into confession of an IRA bombing was nominated for seven Oscars and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson.
  • Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) – A family-friendly Disney fantasy featuring a witty old codger, his beautiful daughter, the (little) King of Leprechauns, and more.

Best St. Paddy’s Day Parties to Attend

The Chicago River gets a green makeover for their St. Paddy’s celebration (using a powdered, vegetable-based dye) Source: Flickr

Last year, we featured an article on the six best places in America to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Topping the list is Chicago because of the jubilant parade following the greening of the Chicago River.

They also celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with the Chicago St. Patrick’s Festival where you can drink, eat, and be merry.

Other destinations to check out:

  • Boston
  • Kansas City
  • NYC
  • Savannah
  • Hot Springs, AK

Best Irish Toasts 🍻

Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland

If you’re like me, you don’t wait until St. Paddy’s Day to raise a glass to your friends with your favorite Irish toast.

Impress your friends by giving one of these Irish toasts next time you’re all at the pub.

I’ve drank to your health in taverns.
I’ve drank to your health in my home.
I’ve drank to your health so many damn times,
I believe I’ve ruined my own.

The Irish have a great sense of humor if you can’t tell!

May the winds of fortune sail you.
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
Who says, “This drink’s on me!”

Best Irish Slang

Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland

St. Paddy’s Day is the perfect day to bend your companions’ ears with some of the best Irish slang words around.

Here are a few of my favorite. You can find an entire list here.

Craic — a good time

We’re headed out for a craic. Also used as ‘What’s the craic?” meaning “What’s happening?”

Black stuff — Guinness

I’ll have a pint of the black stuff, please.

Whanker — fool

That whanker just took a sip of my beer.

Fluthered, Langers, and Locked — all different levels of being drunk

I was fluthered last St. Paddy’s Day, let’s see how locked we get this year.

Scarlet  — very embarrassed

I got scarlet when I saw my crush.

Best Ways to Wear Green

St. Patrick’s Day is also about fashion. Don’t reduce yourself to having to show others your green underwear so as not to get pinched — unless that’s what you’re going for.

Here are some fab ideas to get your green on and remain in the fashion game.

  • Green accessories like a handbag, statement necklace, or scarf
  • Green pumps
  • A green pencil skirt
  • Earth-toned greens

Now that you’re basically Irish, tell us what your favorite Irish facts are below!

Anne-Marie Pritchett is a freelance writer for The Local Lifestyle who enjoys exploring the outdoors, visiting different cultures, digging into new music, and cuddling her new baby. When she gets some free time, she likes to check out local gastropubs and attempt to speak in her British accent.

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