Colcannon - © 2016 - Alex Lau

St. Pat’s Day: DOs and DON’Ts – It IS Easy Being Green!…

‘You don’t have to be Irish’. That’s the first rule of celebrating St. Pat’s Day in the 20-whatevers. And resto and bar owners want you to know and respect that! They’re accustomed to hosting big, green parties, reaping bumper revenues on March 17…

Irish Stew - © 2020 -

It’s in the same class of no-day-off- holidays as Valentine’s Day and Hallowe’en. And some say, Groundhog day. Oddly, Remembrance Day (November 11), when Canadians honour those who have fallen in wars defending Canada and the Commonwealth, is not a statutory holiday. Though most government workers get at least a half day off, until noon…


St. Patrick, as many will already know, is the Patron Saint of Ireland. His co-star, so to speak, is St. Brigid of Kildare. Alas, her day is not celebrated nearly as religiously, or intensely as St. Pat’s.

That aside, St. Pat’s celebratory legacy has spread to almost every corner of the modern world. That’s largely because so many Irish folks left the Auld Sod to escape the Great Potato Famine, in the mid-19th Century. And why the literary and cinematic stereotype of the New York City police officer is an Irishman with a heavy brogue.

St. Patrick’s Day DOs

DO wear something green. It’s a show of respect for… Oh, a lot of things.

DO wear a shamrock.

DO celebrate.

DO partake of beer – green or not.

DO consume Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Colcannon (or Champ), and/or Soda Bread.

DO down a ‘dram’ of Irish Whisky. Jameson, Bushmill’s and Tullamore Dew come to mind…

DO practice moderation. Tomorrow is Monday, and you probably have to go to work!

St. Patrick’s Day DON’Ts

DON’T wear a silly hat.

DON’T wear any clothing item that isn’t normally worn in the colour green (e.g.- any underwear item that is exposed). To be safe, stick to green ties or socks.

DON’T add green dye to premium, craft or ’boutique’ beers. That’s just disrespectful. Some would say, a sin. And others would say you should be shellacked with a sheleighleigh.

DON’T eat green food that is artificially coloured. Not a slam against artificial colourings. Just a paean to common sense and decency. After all, there’ll be enough cabbage to go round twice, at least.

DON’T make a spectacle of yourself. Unless you normally do, then…

DON’T be welcomed into the pub early, only to be escorted out later.

My take

It’s a privilege and a boon for the serial revellers among us to have St. Patrick’s Day fall on a weekend. Don’t abuse it.

But remember: No matter how magnetic the temptation to ‘Drink Early, Drink Often’ may be, give your best effort to resisting. Overindulgence will undoubtedly result in you committing of any or all of our DON’Ts. And maybe ending up in a ditch. With or without your car.

Have a happy, safe St. Pat’s Day!

~ Maggie J.

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