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St. Patrick’s Day Under 21

By Emma Terhaar | Monday, March 18, 2013


Last Saturday, I was riding down Main Street of my hometown in the passenger seat of my brother’s car.  As we passed the Catholic Church, he commented on the massive Irish flag that had been hung across the front of the church.  First he smiled widely, nodded his head then looked over at me and back at the flag and finally said “Irish, I like that. That’s for us you know.”  I assumed he meant that it was intended to express solidarity for Irish Americans or Irish Catholics, or just Catholics or even just Irish people in general.  But he continued on and surprised me by saying, “I always identify as an Irish fan first and foremost.” He went on to explain what it meant to be a fan through undefeated seasons, dismal losses, through thick and thin, through the Heisman hopefuls and everything else.  So St. Patrick’s Day is not some Catholic saint’s feast day, it’s a celebration of us: the Fighting Irish. 

It makes perfect sense doesn’t it?  I mean do they really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland as much as they do in the States?  It’s an Irish American Catholic Day, and we’re the most stereotypical American Catholic school.  No wonder they have this day with leprechauns and pots of gold.  Notre Dame is all about leprechauns and golden stuff!  We have an entire dome made of gold, and golden helmets and a big golden endowment!  Have you ever wondered why everything is so green on St. Patrick’s Day?  It has nothing to do with Ireland or clovers or all that Hallmark crap.  Green is what happens when you mix blue and gold together!

I ask of you fellow Irish, is it not our duty as Notre Dame students to make this St. Patrick’s Day week the most grand, the most epic tribute to our Irish fan heritage and tradition?  But what if we belong to the unlucky not so 21?  We still owe it to our forefathers to Knute, to the Gipper, even to Rudy to make this an epic St. Patrick’s Day week!  Here’s what I’ve got for you:

1. Take a page from Jim Halpert’s book and put your roommate’s stuff in blocks of green jello, leaving it out for them to find.

2. Leave a trail of golden coins (pennies?) to a mysterious trap you’ve left for an unsuspecting friend.  The trap could be anything from peer pressuring them into consuming something really quickly to dumping a ton of water on them.

3. Take a friend’s backpack and remove all important items and fill it with Lucky Charms. Perhaps then fill drawers, small boxes, sink mirrors and other spaces with Lucky Charms.

4. Dye milk green. Dye someone’s hair green!

5. Answer questions in class in Limerick form.

6. Dance an Irish Jig at weekend social gatherings!

7. Wear overalls EVERY SINGLE DAY (Buy overalls if you do not already own them. Preferably green, and you call yourself an Irish fan…?)

8. If you are a man, sport some green chubbies all week.  I think leprechauns would wear chubbies.

9. Maybe just go to Dublin where it doesn’t matter if you’re 21, and get sauced?