If you happen to find yourself in the land of rolling green hills and fluffy white sheep during the month of March, odds are you are there to check out the St. Patricks Day celebrations. I’m also willing to bet that you are a dorky tourist. You packed way too much green garb and plan to hit the streets of Dublin hard; whisky at 10:00am hard. Lucky for you, I was THAT dorky tourist before you had the chance to be and I’m here to share the good word with you. So listen up, you green little leprechaun lover, there are no pots of gold and the only rainbows you will see are the ones caused by hangovers. It’s not going to be pretty and either are you, but it will rock your world.
Tips for success:
1) Get out of Dublin. If you want a more authentic St. Paddy’s celebration you’ve got to get as far away from this bustling city as you can. The only thing you will see are drunk teenagers and cheesy americanized tourist traps. I highly recommend checking out Galway. It’s a college town with a lot of spunk, but is far enough away from Dublin that the locals flock here for some real St. Paddy’s fun.
2) Don’t look like a green freak. Save the face paint and green wig for halloween unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb. Most locals don’t dress up head to toe in green. A green t-shirt or hat will do the trick.
EXPERT TIP: Irish women don’t hold back when dressing up for a night out on town. I’m talking big hair, full face of makeup, heels and little black dresses. If you are someone who takes pleasure in “cleaning-up” ( I know nothing about that) this is the country to do it!
3) Check out the morning parade. So it’s kind of early (10:00am), but it’s part of the experience. It’s crowded and unless you can squeeze your way through to the front of the crowd you won’t really see anything. Being a part of the atmosphere is what it’s all about though. There’s loud music, adorable children and a bunch of jolly drunk people. You can even hit up a pub afterwards and grab a brewski or two!
4) Prepare for massive amounts of alcohol consumption. Forgetting to train for this event is a HUGE mistake. You will want to start drinking whisky and Guinness a few weeks in advance, slowly working your way up to the big day. Maybe even try daytime drinking a time or two!
5) Don’t forget to eat. There is nothing worse than being the silly tourist vomiting in the alleyway. Fuel yourself throughout the day if you don’t want your night to end early. Maybe consider drinking a little H2O as well…
6) Go out the night before. Many locals end up working on St. Patricks Day, so they celebrate the night before. This is a great chance for you to interact with the young Irish crowd and will more than prepare you for the next night.
7) Educate yourself. If you are anything like me, you are traveling to learn and grow. I highly suggest spending an hour or two reading up on some Irish history and the meaning behind St. Patricks Day. It’s much more than four leaf clovers and leprechauns.
HISTORY LESSON: St. Patricks Day is a celebration commemorating the patron saint of Ireland, who brought Christianity to the country. Shamrocks are often associated with the holiday because Saint Patrick used the 3-leafed plant to explain the holy trinity to the pagans.
Alright you guys, I’ve prepared you all that I can. The rest is in your hands. Do me proud out there! The energy of the Irish people on this day, and everyday for that matter, is incredible. You will be sure to fall in love with the country and culture!
*Disclaimer: Drinking is fun, but don’t be dumb 🙂 Find yourself a buddy and keep yourself healthy and safe. Make sure you remember
most some of your trip!