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Things We Do on St. Patrick’s Day That Aren’t Really Irish

Laughing Man in St. Patrick's Day Parade
peterotoole, ThinkStock

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and many of us will be heading to Patty in the Parc dressed to the nines in our green attire complete with the tights, leprechaun hats and buckle shoes.

But if we’re really going to be truly Irish about things, we probably wouldn’t be wearing any of that. Or doing some of the crazy shenanigans we do for “their” holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day actually wasn’t a big party in Ireland until after Americans started doing it.

Here are four other traditions that aren’t exactly Irish.

  1. Drinking green beer – Americans came up with that zany idea. Most bars in Ireland don’t serve it. If you want to be authentic, drink you some Guinness or Irish whiskey.
  2. Pinching people for not wearing green – Again, Americans invented it. And no one likes it…okay, maybe fifth graders.
  3. Drinking Irish Car Bombs – That’s when you drop a shot of Irish whiskey and Bailey’s into a pint of Guinness and chug it. A guy in Connecticut came up with this back in 1979. But the name is a reference to the terrorist attacks in Ireland when the IRA was active. So, a lot of Irish folks find it a tad offensive.
  4. Wearing green leprechaun top hats – In traditional Irish folklore, leprechauns wore pointy hats. And those hats were red! On top of that, St. Patrick was traditionally associated with the color blue.


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