EVERYONE wishes they were Irish on St Patrick's Day, but unluckily for some there are actually other countries in the world.
But even if you're not Irish, or even in Ireland, there are plenty of ways to blend in with the natives on March 17.
Here are 11 ways you can be as Irish as possible on St Patrick's Day...
1. Wear blue
You heard right. Wear BLUE, but only if you're a purist. Sky blue was originally St Patrick's official colour. The saint is shown wearing blue vestments in several artworks, and the hue can still be seen on ancient Irish flags. So if you really care about the fella, then give 'St Patrick's Blue' a go for his big day.
2. Wear green
But if you don't want to be getting strange looks around the place it's probably a good idea to move with the times. The origin of the green dress code on St Patrick's Day dates back to the 1798 Rebellion, when the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism – but especially after the Irish Tricolour was adopted in 1848!
3. Complain about St Patrick's Day
There are few sentences more naturally Irish than those that bash St Patrick's Day itself. Don't go too far, but grumble about "the tourists" on March 17 at least. This probably isn't the greatest idea if you're not Irish at all, and if you're English, well then, off with your head.
4. Don't go near that four-leaf clover
The four-leaf clover has nothing to do with St Patrick's Day. Or Ireland for that matter. The green, leafy plant we ought to be associating with the saint is, of course, the shamrock – which is specifically a sprig of the clover plant with three leaves, not four. Legend has it that St Patrick used the three leaves of the Shamrock to teach pagans about the Trinity in Catholicism.
5. Eat the real stuff
'St Patty's Day' in the United States is often a celebration of green beer, corned beef and cabbage. Why lads? A delicious Irish fry of bacon slices, black pudding, soda bread and a huge pot of tea will do just fine. You can add scones and apple tarts to that list, as well as a cheeky Tayto sandwich for the hangover. Mmmmm.
6. Do NOT wear a leprechaun costume (or 'Kiss me I'm Irish' shirts)
It wouldn't be St Patrick's Day without fancy dress, but please, avoid the feckin' leprechaun outfits. Especially if it's a 'sexy' leprechaun costume! Just because they sell it, doesn't mean you have to encourage them. This goes for those awfully tired slogan shirts as well.
7. Wake up early to see a parade
If you want the best spot for watching your local parade (if it's anything like London's) you'd better wake up with the roosters to beat those long lines!
8. Don't mention your granny's brother's step-uncle's dog who was Irish
Look, it's fine if you're not Irish. Really, it's fine. Enjoy the day. But you're not impressing us when you say how proud you are of being Irish because your mam's half-brother's step-aunt's springer-spaniel was from Westport. Just be yourself and we won't judge you (too much).
9. Don't pinch people
Pinching people who aren't wearing green is a tradition in the US only. Bring that tradition over to Ireland and expect a Garda appeal for witnesses a few days later.
10. AND WE CALLED HER THE IRISH ROVERRRRRR
St Patrick's Day is one of the most musical days on the Irish calendar. Chief among the tunes we love to sing on March 17 is, of course, The Irish Rover. Repeat after me: "She had twenty-three masts and withstood several blasts, AND WE CALLED HER THE IRISH ROVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR".
You didn't think we'd leave it out, did you? As boring as the stereotype is, it's certainly true on March 17. Order a Guinness if possible, unless you're of Corkonian stock. Then it'd be wrong not to grab a Murphy's (or Beamish) and slag off the Dubs. If you go with the latter say something like this to fit in: "Dublin, you say? Never heard of the place. Is it near Mallow?" You're set.