The Green Feast of St. Patrick

Feast of St. Patrick, St. Patrick's Day, Wearing Green, Irish Holiday, LeprechaunHave you ever wondered why the color green was selected for St. Patrick’s Day? Well, you’re not alone; so did I. You probably already know this, but I will share the reason for the color green in case some folks many not know.

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. It is customary to wear the color green, whether it’s clothing, accessories or a shamrock on St. Patty’s Day. Green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640’s when it is reported that the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Green was adopted as the color of the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick, an Irish Fraternity that was founded around 1750. When the Order of St. Patrick, an Anglo-Irish chivalric order was founded in 1783 however, they adopted blue as their color. But in the 1790’s, green was used by the United Irishmen and became associated with Irish nationalism.

We are also familiar with the tradition that you could get pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. I found this little tidbit on SFist Daily that noted: St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.

Moral of this story, wear green if you don’t want to get pinched by a leprechaun…unless the leprechaun is cute of course!!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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