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 IrishÂ celebrate St. Paddy’s Day and what makes the country and its folk awesomely unique.
Interesting Irish FactsÂ
- It’s St. Paddyâ€™s Day, absolutely not St. Pattyâ€™s Day. Patty is short for Patricia or a hamburger. Paddy is derived from PĂˇdraig, 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; itâ€™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!Â 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 areÂ natural redheads.
- Cats now outnumber dogs by two to one as Ireland’sÂ most popular pet.
Best Irish Movies to Watch
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) â€“ Rotten Tomatoes gives this feel-good musical and love story set in 1980â€™s Dublin a 95% rating on the Tomatometer.
- Hunger (2008) â€“ 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) â€“ 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 Oâ€™Gill and the Little People (1959) â€“ A family-friendly Disney fantasy featuring a witty old codger, his beautiful daughter, the (little) King of Leprechauns, and more.
Best St. Paddyâ€™s Day Parties to Attend
Last year, we featured an article on the six best places in America to celebrate St. Patrickâ€™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. Patrickâ€™s Festival where you can drink, eat, and be merry.
Other destinations to check out:
- Kansas City
- Hot Springs, AK
Best Irish ToastsÂ đźŤ»
If youâ€™re like me, you donâ€™t wait until St. Paddyâ€™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.
Iâ€™ve drank to your health in taverns.
Iâ€™ve drank to your health in my home.
Iâ€™ve drank to your health so many damn times,
I believe Iâ€™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, â€śThis drinkâ€™s on me!â€ť
Best Irish Slang
St. Paddyâ€™s Day is the perfect day to bend your companionsâ€™ 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
Weâ€™re headed out for a craic. Also used as ‘What’s the craic?” meaning “What’s happening?”
Black stuff — Guinness
Iâ€™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. Paddyâ€™s Day, let’s see how locked we get this year.
ScarletÂ — very embarrassed
I got scarlet when I saw my crush.
Best Ways to Wear Green
St. Patrickâ€™s Day is also about fashion. Donâ€™t reduce yourself to having to show others your green underwear so as not to get pinched — unless thatâ€™s what youâ€™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