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Green Fever: Why is Green Symbolic on St. Patrick’s Day?

As March comes into view, we see green decorations, and our favorite food chains begin incorporating the earthy hue. The color green is often associated with the Irish celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March. As a color also significant to Ireland, green stands for more than a decoration on St. Patrick’s Day. This article is about the significance of green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Green wasn’t always the ‘it’ color

Considering how everything practically turns green on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s almost unbelievable that the color wasn’t always the theme of the Irish holiday. Could you imagine not decking out head to toe in a green shirt and pants on March 17?

Courtesy: Pinterest

Probably dating back to early Irish mythology, the earliest images of St. Patrick show him dressed in blue. In those times, the sovereignty of Ireland, Flaitheas Éireann, was symbolized by a woman dressed in a blue robe.

Making people invisible

One of the long-standing beliefs about wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is that it makes people invisible. But why must one be invisible?

Courtesy: Irish Traditions.org 

According to the ancient Irish tradition, leprechauns can’t spot anyone wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. So, not wearing green makes you visible to leprechauns- they might pinch you for your blunder.

A symbol of Ireland

Aside from the traditional and festive aspect of wearing green, there is also a patriotic side to it. The color green, along with the shamrock, the harp, and the Claddagh, is a notable symbol of Ireland. 

Courtesy: Freepik

Green is one of the colors of Ireland as it’s on one-third of the flag and also depicts the idea of Ireland being the ‘Emerald Isle.’ Since St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, it’s no surprise that green is everywhere.

The Shamrock

St. Patrick’s Day is the remembrance of the saint’s death and commemoration of his Christian teachings. The shamrock is always associated with Saint Patrick as he often gave illustrations with the three-leaf clover.

Courtesy: The Sweater Shop

Today, the shamrock is a national symbol in Ireland. Many people wear green on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the plant, which the saint used as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity.

How to rock the color on St. Patrick’s Day

People incorporate the color green into their outfits differently on St. Patrick’s Day. You could keep things simple with green socks, a green tie, or a green cap.

Courtesy: Freepik

However, if you’d like to go all the way (why not?), you could rock an all-green ensemble- you definitely won’t be the only one. Some people even go as far as dyeing their hair green!

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