Many people diminish St. Patrick's Day as amateur hour, "nothing more than a glorified frat party." And while scientists, theologians, and scholars have yet to specify what exactly is wrong with that, the stigma remains. However, it is not all binge drinking and puking (unfortunately). If you are entering the shamrockified fray for the first time, you'll do well to arm yourself with these few tidbits to prove you are no dilettante when it comes to the lore and custom of the "Old Country." Oh, and a shillelagh. You might want to arm yourself with a shillelagh too….

-St Patrick is renowned for being the patron saint of the stereotype

-In addition to snakes, St. Patrick also banished from Ireland the ability to cook, dental hygiene, and the sun.

-St Patrick's Day officially begins when you have your first pint of Guinness at 9am. If you are in college, this is known as "Tuesday."

-Every March 17th in New York City, people celebrate the ancient Irish art of wandering en masse in the middle of 5th Avenue.


-Though it had been dormant for a few years now, it is not considered retro cool to sport anything with IRA on it. If your name is Ira, try not to wear a nametag or, better yet, just lay low for the day.

-Please yell Erin Go Bra-less at the top of your lungs. This is Ireland's funniest joke and in no way will get an empty whiskey bottle smashed over your head. (Note: if a friend of yours announces he is about to do this, dial 9-1-1 just to save time.)

-$7 Coors Light served in a plastic cup is a well known Irish delicacy.

-On March 17th only, chunks of baked cardboard sprinkled with raisins and powdered sugar are known as "soda bread."

-If one must eat, it is customary to eat a quaint dish known as "corned beef & cabbage." Preparation is relatively easy. Take whatever meat you have laying around (or an old shoe in a pinch) and boil it till the flavor and color have completely bled out. Your "beef" is thus considered "corned." For cabbage, boil until translucent.

-Begin each and every toast with "God Save the Queen!"