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All About St. Patrick’s Day

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What to wear, who to make fun of, how to talk and anything else you may (or may not) want to know. 

Want to seem more Irish? Adopt an Irish brogue. Nothing passes you off better as as Irish Lass (or Lad). So, watch Boondock Saints and practice, practice, practice.

Though blue was the original color paired with St. Patrick’s Day, green and orange have now become synonymous with the holiday, but don’t wear them together. Most Irishmen are not that fashion conscious, but the colors do mean something and most have strong feelings when it comes to green and orange. They’re two of the colors of the Irish flag. The green has come to represent the Catholic church and the orange has come to represent the Protestant church. So unless ye want yer wee little tushie kicked, don’t mix and match.

You’re supposed to not like the Scottish. Even if Sean Connery is your favorite actor, suspend it for one day. There’s an old phrase that says “proximity breeds contempt” which is probably why the Irish take great delight in poking fun at the Scots.

The Irish have great names, so adopt one. Murphy, McDonnell, McDonald, O’Connor, O’Brian, Callaghan, Fitzgerald and Finnegan are are fantastic. When in doubt, just take your real name and add a “Mc” or “O” to your name. For example, I could be Jen McJacobs or Jen O’Jacobs. It’s that simple.

If you’re going to pretend, you better know some history to make yourself more believable. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston in 1737, but the largest is in New York City. St. Patrick’s Day didn’t become an official holiday in Ireland until 1903 and the first parade there wasn’t held until 1931. St. Patrick’s Day was originally a religious celebration, now it’s more about corned beef and cabbage and green beer and there are more people of Irish descent in America than there are Irish in Ireland.

Of course, the shamrock is one of the most prevalent symbols of St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you wear one on your lapel or on your socks, the question is, do you know why? In olden times, the shamrock was seen as sacred because of its color and unique shape. The four leaves represent: faith, love, hope and luck.

There are of course money making opportunities for companies. Hallmark offers St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards and they sell around 10 million every year. They have 100 to 150 different cards to choose from. McDonald’s of course also gets in on the fun by making their famous shamrock shakes. They’re minty, green, delicious and were first offered in 1970. Bottom’s up!

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