Navigate St Patrick's Day like a true Irish citizen by following our simple 10-step guide, featuring advice on drinking Guinness, the stereotypes you should try to avoid, and how to have 'the craic'
Last updated: 16th Mar 2023
Whether or not Irish blood flows through your veins, St Patrick's Day is a day most look forward to when it arrives each year on the 17th of April. We Brits especially hold a very special place in our hearts for the observance of the passing of the patron saint of Ireland, not that any of us actually know much about his life or what he did, needing little to no excuse to don the green, white and orange colours of the nation's flag before embarking on a mission to seek and sink a substantial amount of Guinness.
While we're all too familiar with the joys of St Paddy's Day, especially the joy brought on by the Guinness, there are probably a few things that should be noted to ensure you're as culturally conscious as can be whilst out merrymaking. Trust us, you don't want to be upsetting a burly Irishman or woman for that matter. And, seeing as though you've already got your notepad out, you should probably take heed of our advice on how to enjoy St Patrick's Day without going over the top.
Continue down the page to discover our top ten tips for serving St Patricks Day 2023 and may the luck of the Irish be with you!
1. Start the day with a big meal
Preparation, preparation, preparation. What's that famous saying again? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Never a truer word has been said, especially in this instance. Start the day with a big slap-up breakfast to help soak up the fluids you'll be consuming across the day and drink plenty of water to help counteract the attack on your body that will imminently ensue.
Go one better and schedule a few pit stops throughout the day. Take these opportunities to grab a quick bite to eat and replenish your stocks of H2O. Don't be the first casualty within your group.
2. Get dressed up
Part of the fun of St Patrick's Day is getting dressed up and joining in with the thousands of other Irish and non-Irish revellers flooding the bars and clubs in your local town or city. But, as touched on earlier, there's most certainly a wrong and a right way to go about it. Don't be that one guy or gal stumbling around the place all lairy, sporting a cheap Leprechaun outfit, shouting profanities in a feeble Irish accent. Chances are you'll get yourself in bother. Throw the 'Bratach na hÉireann', the name given to the Irish flag, over your shoulders, paint a shamrock on your face and buy yourself a Guinness-branded top hat. Bob's your uncle.
3. Make sure to order an Irish drink
Because it would be completely blasphemous to order anything else. Imagine good ol' St Patrick sat upstairs in the promised land, looking down on you all dressed up in the Irish colours, drinking a Strawberry Daiquiri. Jesus wept. You don't want to p*ss off a saint now, do you? Order yourself a cold pint of Guinness and savour its meal-like formula.
For those who've not quite come around to the taste of stout, there are plenty of other options to choose from. There's Irish whiskey such as Jameson's, Gunpowder Gin and everyone's favourite cream liqueur, Baileys.
Whilst we're here discussing drink options, we feel obliged to say that St Patrick's Day can be enjoyed with little to no alcohol whatsoever. Don't be pressured into having a drink. Stay on the soft stuff and reap the benefits the following morning.
4. Hit up all the Irish bars in your local area
Looking for a good time this St Patrick's Day? Well you're not going to find it in a Wetherspoons now, are you? it's common sense, really. The Irish bars in your local vicinity are where you'll find the most authentic Paddy's Day experience. Guaranteed to be hosting live music with folk up and dancing and singing along to traditional Irish drinking anthems, this is your chance, if you're not Irish that is, to become a bonafide native of Ireland for the day. And don't just set up camp at one pub or bar! Especially if you're in Belfast or Dublin for the celebration. Make sure to bounce from venue to venue to see soak up all the sights and sounds.
5. How to have 'the craic'
Don't be a d*ck. That's how. Simple.
Having or looking for 'the craic' in Irish slang means looking for a good time, in most cases. Remember that everyone who's out on St Patrick's Day wants to enjoy themselves. No one wants drama. Check yourself at the door of any pub or bar you walk into and bring only good vibes. Bants and laughs aplenty.
6. Make sure your phone is charged
We've all been there on a night out. Separated from your group with a head full of bubbles with no charge on your phone. It's a nightmare scenario. There's no way of locating your friends, you can't call for a taxi, and if like many, you keep your ticket for your train home stored on your device, you're probably stranded in a place far from the comfort of your bed, all the while dressed as an Irish traffic light. Don't be a silly goose this St Patrick's Day. Make sure your phone is fully charged before leaving the house and activate whatever battery-saving function your phone has.
7. Carry as little cash as possible
St Patrick's Day, no matter where you are in the UK, always draws big numbers to enjoy a proper knees-up. This lends the perfect opportunity to pickpockets and thieves, preying on the inebriated, looking to sneak your wallet or purse from your person. The chances of you falling victim are pretty slim but to prevent losing out big time, carry as little cash as possible and pay via contactless. If you're card or wallet is stolen, make sure to contact your bank as soon as possible to cancel it or freeze it using your banking app.
8. Get plenty of pictures throughout the day
Should you partake in supping a few pints of Guinness or knock back a few several glasses of whiskey, the likelihood that you'll remember what happened on St Patrick's Day 2023 is slim. We suggest documenting the day with a few snaps to help you piece together what happened when you wake the following day. Through past experience, we can assure you that some of the scenes and shenanigans you capture will be well worth the effort.
9. Buy in supplies for the following day
A vital piece of advice. There's nothing worse than waking up like a bear with a sore head, going to raid the cupboards, the fridge and the freezer only to find nothing to eat or drink. Do yourself a favour, head out the night before and stock up on necessities to see you through your no doubt next-level hangover.
10. Know when to quit
When the good times end, it's time to go home. Knowing when to quit is a superhuman skill and one that could save your head and your wallet or purse from further unnecessary damage. As vital a piece of advice as getting in those next-day supplies, quitting when the jig is up will ensure that your St Patrick's Day 2023 is one you won't want to forget.
To find St Patrick's Day events happening where you are, head to our St Patrick's Day Inspire Me page and book yourself a grand day out!
Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
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