By and large, college students have turned St. Patrick’s Day into a holiday celebrating the sanctity of large quantities of alcohol. Problem is, the day’s plans often begin and end with “drink beer.” That’s especially problematic for the people who don’t drink. How are they supposed to spend the hours as their classmates focus on becoming less and less coherent?
You might want to consider adding one of these activities to the day’s schedules. Of course, there’s no rule saying you can’t add a glass of Guinness to any of items on the list below, we’re just providing options for those who’d rather not. These will either keep you from being bored or, if you don’t intend to abstain from drinking, keep you from falling asleep on your friend’s couch by 4 pm.
- Read up on St. Patrick himself. Aside from the legends (banishing snakes and whatnot), he was a pretty fascinating guy. Here are a few facts worth knowing:
- He was a born to a Roman family living in Britain.
- When he first came to Ireland, he was a slave.
- He’s also the patron saint of Nigeria.
- Bake some Irish soda bread. It’s actually quicker and easier than many kinds of bread (as long as you have access to an oven). Nowadays people have mostly tried to dessert-ify this ultra-practical dish, so as long as you’re not too worried about being super traditional, you can play pretty loose with the ingredients, adding fruit, honey, or whatever else you want to the mix.
- Cook up some corned beef and colcannon. What you normally hear is “corned beef and cabbage,” but if a big plate of steamed cabbage leaves doesn’t sound too appetizing, colcannon (buttery mashed potatoes with a bunch of leafy greens mixed in) might be a tastier compromise.
- Irish rock karaoke. There’s something about Irish rock bands that works perfectly with horribly awesome karaoke renditions. I’m pretty sure the only way to sing “Zombie” by the Cranberries and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2 is belting it out with a bunch of other people who don’t know all the words.
- If you’re living in a city, there’s probably a parade. The odds are even higher if you’re in an east coast town.
- Dress some poor dog, cat, or baby up like a leprechaun. I’m by no means condoning this kind of behavior, I’m just saying it’s technically an option.
- Irish movie marathon. Not just movies that touch on some Irish themes. I’m talking about legitimately Irish movies, with Irish actors or by Irish creators. Movies like Michael Collins, My Left Foot, Once, Waking Ned Devine, or The Commitments.
- …Or just movies set in Ireland. Classic films like The Quiet Man or Ryan’s Daughter might not be as authentic as the above movies, but they should still count for the purposes of your marathon.
- …Or movies about Irish-Americans. Of course, The Departed is a great gangster flick, but Gangs of New York is probably a better fit for the day, since it focuses on the immigrant experience. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t have the bloodshed of those two, there’s always the more low-key In America.
- …Or maybe just movies with Liam Neeson. If you really just want an excuse to watch Darkman again.