Every year on March 17th we break out the green shirts, hats, and coats to get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Some wear green to celebrate the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day and others to avoid being pinched. But green didn’t start out being associated with this day. Years ago, the color blue was the official color of St. Patrick. Green eventually came about as being the typical St. Patrick’s Day color we see today because of Irelands Nickname. The country was referred to as The Emerald Isle and even has a green stripe in the national flag along with stripes of orange and white.
Shamrocks are a symbol commonly connected to St. Patrick’s Day, but why? It has been said that 3 leaf shamrocks were used by St. Patrick in Ireland to explain and teach the Holy Trinity. Shamrocks then began to be worn on St. Patrick’s Day by the people of Ireland. Shamrocks and clovers are abundant in Ireland and four-leafed ones are said to be lucky. A four-leaf clover is a genetic mutation of a three-leafed one, this is rare and seen as lucky. It is thought that most four-leaf clovers are found in Ireland, thus giving the Irish lots of luck and coining the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish.’
Another symbol we think of during St. Patrick’s Day is leprechauns. Leprechauns are part of Irish folklore and are described as a type of fairy. Leprechauns are short, have beards and wear top hats. One folktale is that people used to dress in green to hide from Leprechauns because these little men were something that you wanted to avoid. If they caught you and you were not wearing green, then you would get pinched. Another story is that people would try to catch these mythical creatures because if caught, they would grant you three wishes if you were to let them go.
St. Patrick’s Day is full of fun traditions and festivities. There are many ways to celebrate and so much to learn about this holiday. Enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day and have some fun trying to catch a leprechaun or finding a four-leaf clover for a little bit of luck.