Whether you were born in Dublin or Dallas, today, everyone is Irish. St Patrick’s Day is a worldwide celebration of all things Ireland, filled with food, beer, and traditions galore! But have you ever wondered why we wear green, eat corned beef, and pinch friends and strangers alike on this fine holiday? St. Patty’s traditions are strange and wonderful, and now, no longer a mystery.
Why am I dressed like a crayon?
Blue may have been the first color associated with dear old St Patrick but today, green is king. Starting in the 17th century, green became the official color of March 17th for four main reasons. Firstly, for the Irish, the color is associated with revolution as several progressive groups throughout history have used Ireland’s tri-color flag, a main color being—you guessed it—green. Secondly, Ireland is also known as the “Emerald Isle” for its lush green landscape. Finally, green is also associated with spring as well as the Irish shamrock.
What am I eating?
On St Patrick’s Day, millions of people around the world will sit down to an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. Guess again. Historically, cabbage was served with Irish bacon, not corned beef, which is not a part of the traditional Irish diet. During the mass immigration to America of the 19th and 20th centuries, Irish migrants found that they couldn’t afford bacon, so they turned to the next best alternative, cheap corned beef.
Don’t pinch me!!
Forget to wear green on St Patty’s Day and you’re liable to get a pinch or two. You can thank America for this tradition that started in the early 1700s. Early (and probably intoxicated) St Patrick’s merrymakers believed that donning green would make one invisible to pesky leprechauns, fairy miscreants known to pinch anyone they could see. Revelers began pinching those who didn’t wear green as reminder that leprechauns were still among us.
Do you have any special St Patty’s Day traditions? Sound off in the comments! Wanna find out more about this thoroughly Irish holiday or a St Patrick’s Day Event near you? Visit the St Patrick’s Day website.