Why Do the Irish Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day?

Overview

Green beer, green clothes and green shamrocks abound. Everywhere you look on March 17, there will be green. Why? This is the color of the much celebrated St. Patrick's Day.

History

According to History.com, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated by the Irish for over one thousand years. Wearing green became popular between the late 1840's and 1850's as many Irish people immigrated to America.

Significance

As the Irish numbers grew in America, they began to have a large influence on American politics. Soon wearing green on St. Patrick's Day--along with having parades and celebrations--became a day to respect Irish Americans.

Purpose

Green is the chosen color because it represents Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle. It also represents shamrocks and spring in Ireland.

Who Wears Green

Green became the universal color of the St. Patrick holiday. Now, people all over the world wear green to mark the day.

Today's Green Tradition

Across the United States, it is now a tradition to pinch people for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. That should remind them to wear green next year.

References

  • History.com
  • BlackDog
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology

About this Author

Raechel Conover has been a freelance writer since 2002. She has been published in "The Lantern," "Ohio Health & Lifestyle" magazine and on numerous Web sites for private clients. Her background is in marketing and event planning. Conover has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The Ohio State University.

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