St. Patrick’s Day: the time of the year when “drunk and disorderly” is not an offense, but a way of life. Even if you don’t personally take part, you’re sure to notice a spike in people decked out in the color green and public urination. St. Patty’s Day, which commemorates Irish heritage, is the fourth most popular drinking holiday in the U.S.—right behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.
It’s American popularity makes sense because, according to census data, there are 33.3 million people in the country who claim Irish ancestry. To put that in perspective, that’s seven times the current population of Ireland.
But, who is Patrick and what are we really celebrating?
What is St. Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day—also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick—is, technically, a religious celebration held in honor of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It’s on March 17, since that’s accepted as the “death date” of good ol’ Patrick. Ironically, Patrick wasn’t Irish. In the 5th century, he was a British kid who was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. Eventually, he’d find his way back to England, but not before finding God. Then, he became a priest and took it upon himself to Ireland and convert all the pagans there to Christianity.
So, Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and, since then, we’ve honored his memory by getting black-out drunk and making regrettable life choices that will probably end up being posted to Facebook so your grandma can see them.
Check out the best St. Patrick’s Day memes, jokes, funny photos and images below: