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Green on St. Patrick's Day

Why Do People Wear Green on Saint Patrick’s Day?

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Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. The feast day of Saint Patrick, which is held on the 17th of March, is typically associated with the colour green. Other associations include shamrocks, leprechauns and green hats!

This special day was originally a Roman Catholic feast day for the patron saint of Ireland. Nowadays, Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many countries across the globe including England, Malta, Russia, Scotland and USA. For a full list of countries, see here.

St. Patrick's Day

How Do We Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

Every year on the 17th of March, Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated with parades, partying and a plethora of green: green clothing, green hats, green accessories, green party decorations, and the list goes on…

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations were cancelled in many cities around the world including, but not limited to, Birmingham, London and Sydney. For those of you who have never been to a Saint Patrick’s Day parade and don’t know what it would look like, here is a video from TIME covering a previous Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, which was held on 17 March 2017. It’s about 5 hours long but dang… what a beautiful parade! Love the music, marches and bagpipes!

Why Do We Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

March 17 marks the death date of Saint Patrick who lived between circa 385-461. According to the National Geographic:

  • Saint Patrick was thought to have been born Maewyn Succat in late 4th century Britannia.
  • He used the name “Patricius” in his writings.
  • Most of what is known about him is written in the Declaration. He wrote it himself.
  • His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest.
  • He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave.
  • He worked as a shepherd for 6 years. During this time of captivity, he “found God”.
  • It is said that while in a state of enslavement, he heard a voice while sleeping, urging him to escape. The Declaration reveals that God told Patrick to flee to the coast where a ship would be waiting for him to take him home.
  • After reuniting with his family, Patrick studied to become a priest and spent the rest of his life as a missionary in Ireland.
  • Patrick used green shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish while doing missionary work.
  • He has also been credited with banishing snakes from Ireland. However, snakes did not inhabit the regions in which Patrick preached. Patrick spent years evangelising in the northern part of Ireland. He managed to convert thousands of people to Christianity. Patrick’s evangelising to the Druids was eventually turned into an allegory which states that he drove “snakes” out of Ireland, but rest assured, Patrick did not literally drive snakes out of Ireland. LOL. 🙂

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day Sale

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the 17th century. It commemorates the introduction of Christianity to Ireland and also celebrates the richness of Irish culture.

But Why Do People Wear Green on this Day?

According to some accounts, Saint Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Other accounts claim that green represents Ireland as a country because:

  • Green is one of the colours on Ireland’s flag.
  • Ireland is known for its lush green landscape and is commonly known as the “Emerald Isle”.
  • Green is “the colour of spring, the shamrock and the Chicago River, which the Midwestern city has dyed green” for the past 50 years (Haq, 2010).

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day Sale


Blame It On The Alcohol…

Sometimes when I watch Saint Patrick’s Day parades either on TV or in person, I notice that there is an over-killing consumption of alcohol in the midst of otherwise amazing celebrations. Historically, the Lenten restrictions on alcohol were lifted on this day, which has upped celebrators’ desires to drink alcohol excessively on this day. To be honest, some people take it too far. As a person who suffers from depression, I won’t be dousing myself in alcohol neither this year nor in the years to come. I will drink in moderation and probably have just one beer.

Don’t go crazy people. Don’t go crazy. 🙂


If I Forget, Pinch Me

If you forget to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t be surprised if you get pinched. I lived in Boston at one point in my life, and I remember going to school and seeing one of the eighth-graders being pinched by one of the “cool kids”. Apparently, it’s a tradition in the United States to pinch people if they forget to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day, so to all my American readers, don’t forget to mark your calendars!

Remember this episode of The Simpsons when Bart forgot to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day and he had to pay a heavy price for his “sins”?

As for me, I’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. I’m an Aussie. LOL 🙂

But seriously though, I will be approaching saint Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday and will be wearing green as is tradition.

For those of you who are going to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day and don’t know where to start, here are some of my favourite green fashion items from the DressLily catalogue. If you would like to order something and have it delivered just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t forget to apply the code GREEN to take a further 10% Off the price of your order.

To all my readers around the world, I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but to all who celebrate, I would like to wish you a happy Saint Patrick's Day. Hope you enjoy the festivities!

So, do you wear green on Saint Patrick's Day? I would love it if you could answer the poll below. Have a good one!
Coming Soon
Do you wear green on Saint Patrick's Day?
Do you wear green on Saint Patrick's Day?
Do you wear green on Saint Patrick's Day?

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Haq, H. (2010, Mar. 17). St. Patrick's Day: Why do we wear green? Retrieved from

National Geographic. (2018, Mar. 17). Why do we celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Retrieved from

Saint Patrick's Day. (2020). Retrieved March 16, 2020 from

Melodia Paris

Writer and entrepreneur. Founder of I Love Colours. I love butterflies, peacocks, rainbows and all things colourful. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

12 thoughts on “Why Do People Wear Green on Saint Patrick’s Day?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing such a great article among us. Here you have discussed in detail Saint Patrick’s Day. And you discussed the reason for wearing a green dress on St. Patrick’s Day. I learned more about Saint Patrick’s Day from this post. I like your dresses, but since I am a male, I cannot take your clothes. But I would tell my girlfriends to buy your dresses. I really enjoyed reading your article about Saint Patrick’s Day. Your article was very helpful. I’m so impressed. I think this article is useful for everyone.
    Lastly, I would like to share this post on my social media so everyone can know about Saint Patrick’s Day. Thanks.

    1. Thank you very much for the positive feedback Tanvir. I really appreciate it. Thanks for being open to sharing this article with your friends on social media, and thanks for letting your girlfriends know about the dresses. This feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.

  2. It’s amazing just how much this saint from Ireland in the late 14th century is celebrated traditionally in so many countries around the world. So much so that a city will actually go to the lengths of dyeing a river green, and forgetting to wear the colour green in some places leaves you open for a pinch fest on the day.

    Thank you for this article, because I honestly didn’t know this much about St. Patrick’s Day and the saint behind it.  I thought it was all about leprechauns and shamrocks.

    1. Hi Donald. Thank you very much for the positive feedback. Yes, it is incredible how a saint that lived so long ago could be so significant right now. I always thought that Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in Ireland and North America only, but it turns out it’s celebrated in a multitude of countries. Thanks for reading.

  3. Firstly, I want to give you thanks for this excellent post. For a few days, I have been looking for this type of post. By reading this post, I have come to learn so many things like why people wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day? You explain this in a very easy way in this article. What you discuss in this post is very important, and I completely agree with you. This is a great idea I think. I have seen so many articles, but your article is the best. So I like to share this article with other people.
    Thanks again for such an informative article.

    1. Hi Taufique. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the article. I’m happy that the article helped you somehow. To be honest, I actually enjoyed writing it because it gave me the opportunity to do research about this topic. I’ve always been curious as to why green is worn on Saint Patrick’s Day and now I have the answer. Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing the article with your friends on social media.

  4. Thank you for sharing this article. I got to know about St. Patrick’s Day from a friend of mine who has been living in Ireland for 10 years. He has been celebrating the day, and he lets me know about the culture of that country. He always buys new green clothes to wear on that day. I enjoyed reading this article a lot. I know so many new things because of this article. I hope this year on the 17th of March, my friends will again celebrate this day and share their experiences.

    I will surely share this article on my social media account and send it to my friend in Ireland as well. He will certainly enjoy reading this. Thanks again. 

    1. Thank you so much Sumaiya for sharing this story about your Irish friend. I hope that the celebrations your friends undertake will be enjoyable and joyous. Thanks for being open to sharing this article with your friends on social media. I really appreciate it.

  5. I think most people wear green so they don’t get pinched. I remember as a child, my mother always made a big deal about wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day so you wouldn’t get pinched. I was taught that St. Patrick was special because he was the first person to introduce Christianity to Ireland. I don’t know if that is true, but the tradition helps people remember St. Patrick. 

    1. Hi Lee. Thanks for your comment, and thanks for sharing that story about your mother. I know that people get pinched in the United States, but I’m not sure if pinching happens in other countries. Regardless of whether or not Saint Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland, it’s a good thing to remember him in one way or another. I’m not sure what your religious beliefs are, but if you are celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day!

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