Each year on March 17th, strange events occur: thousands of people wear green and spend the day pinching one another, even strangers! March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, and most people in the Western world understand that such behavior is par for the course on this holiday. But have you ever wondered why we wear green and pinch each other on St. Patrick’s Day? We can explain the rationale behind these traditions, and then some.
Why Do We Wear Green and Pinch Each Other on St. Patrick’s Day?
There is no culture in the world devoid of tradition. Traditions ground us, connect us to others, and remind us that we are all in this thing called “life” together. However, sometimes traditions seem to be bizarre. Despite this, there are usually reasons behind why we do the crazy things we do on holidays. For example, on the Irish holiday known as St. Patrick’s Day…
- We wear green because it is one of the colors represented in Ireland’s flag. Also, shamrocks are green, as is Ireland’s topography.
- We pinch each other because superstitious Americans in the early 1700s instigated the practice. Husna Haq, correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, wrote, “St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.” Obviously, this fun tradition stuck.
- We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because it’s fun, but also because St. Patrick was an incredible person. Did you know that St. Patrick was enslaved at age sixteen for six years, during which time he looked after animals. He did a lot of other amazing things. Read about them here.
There are other traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Which is your personal favorite?
Do you love St. Patrick’s Day as well as paint-by-number? If so, give our “St. Patrick’s Day” digital paint-by-number pattern for SegPlay PC a try. SegPlay PC combines old-fashioned paint-by-number with modern technology, is great fun for art enthusiasts, and is compatible with Windows PC. Let us know what you think of it in the “comments” section below.
Will you be wearing green and pinching people this St. Patrick’s Day? Why or why not?
Read additional blog posts about the color green…
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