The Smiffys guide to St Patrick’s Day

The Smiffys guide to St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day approaches as fast as his little Irish jigging legs will carry him, and this year he plans to step it up a notch. We’ve created this fantastic array of fun facts, information and games to make sure that your party plans go off without a hitch. So read on if you’re struggling for costume ideas, or just want to be able to whimsically recall a variety of St Patrick’s day themed anecdotes to enthral your intoxicated band of friends.

Make your day a little more Irish!

Are you prepared for St Patrick’s Day? Is it something you celebrate? Or something that sneaks up on you every year? If it’s the latter, then never fear, Smiffys have created a fantastic list to help you add a St Patrick’s twist to your day.

  • Green clothes or accessories are a must, especially if it’s fancy dress! Everyone loves a dress up occasion. St Patrick’s Day is on 17th March, but you can dress up for the whole week, just in case
  • On St Patrick’s Day it’s practically compulsory to consume lots of green food and drink
  • This one requires some planning, but get yourself over to your local garden centre and pick up a pack of shamrock seeds, then simply plant them a month or so ago and you should have a bountiful harvest of the famous Irish plant by now. Simply collect up your freshly grown/ dug up clover and proceed to embed it into your head and/or facial hair. Any spare clover can be secured into button holes. Hey presto, you’re ready for your St Patrick’s Day sesh
  • Guinness is probably one of the most well-known Irish beverages in the world. The amount consumed daily actually doubles on St Patrick’s Day. It’s an acquired taste, but after a couple pints of the black stuff, you’re sure to acquire it. And although it may not be friendly on your wallet, it’s friendly on your waistline as the famous drink contains even less calories than the average light beer
  • If the typical shenanigans and drunken tomfoolery don’t appeal to you, then you can always opt for a more traditional activity this St Patrick’s Day and drive as many snakes into the sea as you can, just like St Patrick himself, for us, this doesn’t sound quite as fun as the aforementioned partying, but each to their own

So that was a short list of some ideas to make your St Patrick’s Day a little more Irish, to be sure.

St Patrick’s Day facts

  1. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, although he was born in England, he was captured in his teens and taken to Ireland where he spent six years herding sheep. He eventually escaped back to England after a dream told him to do so. He was ordained into the Christian faith and returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary among the Celtic pagans.
  2. Legend has it that he used the native shamrock as a symbol of the holy trinity when preaching throughout Ireland.
  3. Guinness isn’t even black! It’s a deep ruby red.
  4. St Patrick is believed to have driven all of the snakes from Ireland into the sea, however this is often believed to be more of a metaphor for driving out pagan religions than actual fact.
  5. Wearing green, eating green food and even drinking green beer, is said to commemorate St Patrick’s use of the shamrock – although blue was the original colour of his vestments and is still the official colour of the state.
  6. St Patrick was said to have proclaimed that everyone should have a drop of the “hard stuff” on his feast day after chastising an innkeeper who served a short measure of whiskey. In the custom known as “drowning the shamrock”, the shamrock that has been worn on a lapel or hat is put in the last drink of the evening.
  7. It is believed that St Patrick died on March 17 in 461AD, that’s also the date of St Patrick’s day! What a strange coincidence. It is a national holiday in Ireland, and is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland.
  8. It would take 2,522,309,711.2 (two billion five hundred and twenty two million three hundred and nine thousand seven hundred and eleven point 2) pints of Guinness end to end to reach the moon. Believe it or not that’s only about 2 years’ worth of Guinness sold, as each year sales reach around 1.5 billion pints worth.

The best St Patrick’s Day party drinking games

Traditionally, St Patrick’s Day was a quiet and religious event spent in church and thinking of the lifetime achievements and sacrifices of the saint himself. The joyous festivities are believed to have stemmed from the lifting of bans on eating meat, drinking alcohol and dancing for the day during lent.

So if you’re planning on really getting into the spirit, then at least have fun with old and new friends whilst you do! As a party company, we’ve got a few units under our belt so can safely say that the following top 5 list of quick and fun drinking games is probably more accurate than the music charts, probably.

Flip cup

flip cup

This game requires skill, speed and agility and is great for lifting moods. The aim is to drink all the beverages and flip all the cups before the opposing team does.

Players split into two teams. Each face each other along a table, each with a plastic cup in front of them and an equal amount of refreshing beverage poured into each cup. The first players of the team must first touch glasses as a toast to each other and then place them back down before commencing. As soon as their cup touches the table they must then drink it as quickly as they can, place the empty cup on the edge of the table and flip it so that it lands upside down. The next player cannot begin to drink until the previous one has successfully flipped their cup. The last team to the end loses and must do a forfeit.

Excitement is sure to be supercharged throughout this game, so much that this is probably closer to a sporting event, so how about dressing accordingly, we’ve got fantastic fancy dress costumes which are great for teams! Sweat bands, anyone?!

Finger on the cup

finger on cup

This quick fire game requires luck and also a little bit of tactical thinking. An empty pint glass is placed in the middle and players proceed to fill the glass with their individual drinks until the pint glass is full. Each player then places a finger on the glass. The aim is to guess the correct amount of fingers placed on the glass in order to avoid drinking the pint, this is made more difficult as each player can remove their finger when a number is called.

e.g 5 players place a single finger each onto the glass, the first player counts down from 3 and calls a number between 1 and 5, at the same moment other players decide to keep or remove their fingers off the glass, if the player guesses right then they’re out of the game and safe from the pint. Players continue until there is only one person left, this player is the loser and has to drink the dirty pint.


horse race

As the name suggests, this is similar to betting on horses. Except you are using cards.

All aces are removed from the pack and placed face up on the end of a table, these are the horses. Line of cards face down are then placed perpendicular to the “horses”, this is the distance of the track and can be used for extra rules/forfeits/bonuses as you wish.

The “announcer” begins turning over cards from the remaining pile, only the suit of the card matters. The “horse” of the matching suit moves forward one space and the next card is turned and so on.

Bets are measures of drinks, place your bets on all sorts of things such as the first horse out of the gates, first horse to win etc. anything that can be applied in real horse racing. Winners can either nominate drinks or have to drink themselves, the rewards/forfeits are yours to decide accordingly. This novel game is lots of fun, but you can make it even more fun, yes! MORE fun! By looking the part, gear up like a real jockey. There’s only a nose in it this year!



As far as drinking games go, this is fairly simple, can be incorporated into other drinking games and shares similarities with beer pong. Aiming skills are highly valued in this game. The aim of the game is to get a penny into a shot glass or other receptacle after bouncing it off of a surface. If you successfully get the penny in within two attempts then you nominate someone to drink, if you miss then it is you who must drink.

If you’re bouncing into filled glasses, don’t forget that it then becomes a race against time to save the Queen from drowning! Make it a royal affair and adorn yourself in the finest regal costumes and accessories from Smiffys. Only a true marksman is deserved of the crown!

Ring of fire

ring of fire

Ring of fire, is one of the most well-known and most versatile drinking games known to students. It was the first drinking game we ever played in our uni-days. This game offers a variety of opportunities for incorporating other mini drinking games.

Place an empty pint glass in the middle of the players, a deck of cards is then spread randomly and face down around the pint glass. Rules are set for each card number and face. As each player draws a card they must follow the rule linked with it, for instance if a player draws a 3, all players must drink. Rules can be as bizarre or extreme as you wish, however, when a king is drawn that player must pour some of their drink into the empty pint glass, this is done for all kings until the 4th. The player who pulls the 4th king must drink the dirty pint and the game is over.

Jenga ring of fire

If cards aren’t your thing, you can always mix it up and write rules on Jenga blocks and take turns pulling out blocks from a Jenga tower! If you’re playing Jenga, then why not bring some of your other favourite games into the mix via costume? Twister is always good for a little hands on fun, or feet…and what about Rubix cube?

Bonus Game: Beer Pong

beer pong

It’s arguably the most famous drinking game, however it’s only included as a bonus as a nod to its popularity.

Two teams are pitted against each other in a battle of skill and hand eye co-ordination. With an array of cups filled with a selection of beverages at each end of the table, the aim is to take it in turns throwing ping pong balls into the other teams’ cups. If you get a ball in a cup then the opposing team has to drink. The game continues until all cups have been drunk and removed from the table.

You are now entirely qualified to enjoy St Patrick’s day to its full extent, to be sure. Make sure you’re drink aware and lean towards the fun rather than the foolery. No one likes a leprechaun that can’t stand up! Don’t forget to grab all of your essential green costumes and accessories from!

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