Where your St. Patrick’s Day regalia actually comes from

Jubilant spectators at the 2008 New York Saint Patrick's Day parade.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, the time to get dressed up in green, drink until your heart’s content and generally act like the most ridiculous Irish stereotype possible. But on this day of all things Eire, how much of your celebration involves things actually from Ireland?

Metro takes stock:

Green felt top hats: The top hat was first adopted amongst Europe’s dandies in the 1790s; aprocryphally, hatmaker John Hetherington introduced them to London in 1800. There’s nothing to suggest that the Irish didn’t wear them, but there’s also nothing to suggest that they were particular fans. NOT IRISH.

Fake red beards: Fake beards are believed to have originated with Egyptian pharaohs. However, the Irish do have among the highest percentage of redheads in Europe. HALF-CREDIT.

Irish flag: The Irish tricolor was adopted as the official flag of Irish independence in 1919. The green represents the island’s Gaelic population, the orange represents the Protestant planters (who supported William of Orange) and the white purportedly represents the peace and harmony between them — hey, they couldn’t predict the future. IRISH.

Guinness: Arthur Guinness, original brewer of the stout, was born in County Kildare and operated out of Dublin. IRISH.

Coors Light: The Coors brewing company was founded by a German immigrant in Colorado in the 1870s. Sorry, high-schoolers! NOT IRISH.

Shamrock stickers, worn on cheeks: The shamrock has been a symbol of Ireland for centuries — though reports that Saint Patrick used them to illustrate the Holy Trinity are probably specious. It has traditionally been worn on the lapel (or, in the case of Irish Guards, in their headdresses), and never on one’s face. IRISH, BUT TACKY

"Kiss Me, I’m Irish" shirts: WikiAnswers suggests that this is a reference to the Blarney Stone and if you can’t believe them, who can you believe? "Grope Me, I’m Irish" though, is just gross. HALF-CREDIT, IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE IT


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