Why is Green Associated with St. Patrick’s Day?

Learn more about the history of why we wear green and it’s meaning.

Mia Vargas-Garcia, Contributor

We all know March 17th as St. Patrick’s Day. It is known as the day where everyone dresses up in green to avoid being pinched by others. Apart from being pinched, what is the reason we wear green? 

Did you know that blue was originally associated with St. Patrick’s Day? That all changed in the 17th century. When the King of England, Henry VIII, declared himself the King of Ireland, blue was his original choice. However, after St. Patrick, the color was changed to green, for the shamrock that St. Patrick used to explain the Holy Trinity. Green is one of the three colors on Ireland’s flag, which symbolizes nationalism. Ireland is also known as the ”Emerald Isle” for its beautiful, green landscape. The Irish would also wear green to remind others that they were nationalists. 

Where did the popular tradition of being pinched for not wearing green start? It all started in the 1700s, when St. Patrick believed that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns, who pinched anybody they saw, or people not wearing green. This then led to people pinching others as a reminder that leprechauns could pinch them at any second if they didn’t wear the color. Many people now wear green on this day to avoid being pinched.

People wearing green                                          modestpudding via pixabay.com

Even if you decide not to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you do not wear orange. Although orange is on Ireland’s flag, this color should not be worn, for it symbolizes unionists and loyalists, or people who are loyal to the British crown. This is why the white stripe separates the green and orange on Ireland’s flag. Protestants are known to wear orange on this day.

What does the color green represent? Green is known to represent life, fertility, renewal, and resurrection. The color is mentioned in the Bible multiple times. Unlike orange, it represents the Catholics who rebelled against the British.

Because the color green resembles so many parts of Ireland, like the landscape and flag, green is now associated with St. Patrick’s Day too! Around the time the holiday takes place, you’ll most likely see green everywhere. Clovers, hats, leprechauns, it’s all green. Some people may even associate the month of March with the color!

So by the time the next St. Patrick’s Day comes around, make sure you’re wearing green!