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Some Lessons For College Students On Keeping It Irish on St. Patrick'sDay

St Patrick's day is a magical time of year. For one wonderful day, people everywhere put aside their differences for a common love of... well, drunken debauchery, mostly. It seems like anywhere you go around St. Patrick's day, particularly on college campuses, you'll see people running around with green clothes, green food, and even green beer. Everywhere, that is, except Ireland. It turns out that most of the traditions we celebrate in North America on this most Irish of days actually have very little to do with how they celebrate it in Ireland. With our help, you can have all the fun of a North American St Patrick's day with none of the ridiculous stereotypes.

First things first, we need to understand what we're doing wrong. For that, you can check out this video from Howcast that explains just how different a traditional St. Patrick's day is from what your average college student is probably used to.

Not quite as much fun as ten gallons of green beer, I know, but there are some valuable pointers in there. For one, ditch the green food coloring. I'm no expert, but I don't think that St. Patrick would care what color your food is. Besides, no true Irish person would be caught dead drinking a blonde beer on St. Patrick's day anyway. That's what Guinness is for!

Next up, you've got to hit the town. And since it's Saint Patrick's Day and all, why not be a little festive about it and learn some Irish Gaelic? Memorize these short phrases, and you'll be set when that cute Irish tourist catches your eye at the local pub, parade, house party, or whatever. Let's start with the basics:

 - Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you!: Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! (Law Ale-yeh Pawd-rig Sunna Ditch)
- Ireland forever!: Éire go Brách! (Aye-rin guh brawkh)
- Cheers!: Sláinte!(Sloyn-cheh)
- A pint of Guinness, please: Pionta Guinness, le do thoil (Pyun-tah Guinness, leh duh huh-il)

And finally, the good stuff:

- Have you got any Irish in you? Would you like some?: An bhfuil cuid Éireannach ionat? Ar maith leat roinnt?
- Are you tired? You've been running through my mind all night: An bhfuil tuirse ort? Bhí tú ag rith trí m'intinn an oíche ar fad.

You can thank me later. Kudos to Bitesize Irish Gaelic and the Irish Gaelic Translator forum for help with the Gaelic.

Not of legal drinking age? No problem! Why not play a little bit of Gaelic Football, a soccer variant that's criminally under-represented in sports circles outside the Emerald Isle itself. In Gaelic football, two teams of fifteen players do their best to get a ball past the goal line via kicking, dribbling, striking, and running (though not necessarily in that order), and since this is Ireland we're talking about here, it's also a contact sport. If the ball goes over the crossbar, it's one point. Under, and it's three. The result is something that's a little bit rugby, a little bit soccer, a little bit basketball, and a whole lot of awesome. Check out the video below to get a taste, and then start talking your friends into forming a league.

Now that you're all set to hit the town this weekend, all you need is a little bit of historical perspective. For that,we turn to none other than the History Channel, who prepared an awesome infographic called "St. Patrick's Day by the Numbers" to help explain the proud tradition we're all taking part in. So throw on your best green shirt and get out there, because you're only young once.

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