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I'm Irish :: Do I Have to Wear Green on St Patrick's Day?

Updated on March 13, 2012

Okay, so I'm a Redhead

This one is probably gonna run long, so bear with me. I was born bald, and being a girl, my mom dressed me in pink, so everyone would know I was a girl, until hair finally started to sprout when I was four.

I love my mother so don't get me wrong, pink was my favorite color until I was old enough to find out it clashed with my hair. Now my mother called my color strawberry blonde, which would give you the impression it's pink. Red plus white, is pink.

Red plus white is also orange, as my son pointed out when he drew a picture of me with green hair. I said "Seany, mommy's hair doesn't look green to you does it?" (worried he might be color blind)

Sean:still drawing does not look up, "No"

Me:"Then why did you make mommy's hair green? My hair is red."

Sean: "No, your hair is orange and I didn't have any orange! Your eyes are blue, so I had to use green."

So did my mother. My brother and I both had red hair, and our mom just wanted to use that to her best advantage. White and Blue, went with our "red hair" for patriotic holidays, and for Christmas (What goes better with red than green, you look like little Christmas trees!), and of course Saint Patrick's Day.

If you don't wear green you get pinched? Whose idea was this?


According to my Sources

According to one page it is school children who came up with the idea. Can this be true, and if so, when. This investigative reporter must find the root of the problem, as I have bruises in my history dating back to the day I refused to wear green anymore! It is an outrage that these pinches are called "affectionate" by Wikipedia. My search continues.

Okay after much searching, I find this quote on

Pinching those not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is an American tradition, having really nothing to do with Ireland or St. Patrick. It's thought that the pinching started in the early 1700s, about the time that awareness of St. Patrick's as a holiday came to the fore, too, in Boston, in the Massachusetts colony. They thought if you wore green, it made you invisible to the Leprechauns, which was good because they would pinch anyone they could see. So the pinching is to warn and remind you about the Leprechauns.

Still I am not satisfied with our traditions, I found this:

According to various sources, the color green is a celebration of "The Emerald Isle," Ireland's nickname given because its hills are so green, and it happens to be one of three colors on their flag. According to, children usually sport green, white, and orange colors, which are all the colors on their flag.
However, according to Bridget Haggerty in National Geographic News, "in Ireland the color was long considered to be unlucky. Irish folklore holds that green is the favorite color of the good people (the proper name for faeries).
They are likely to steal people, especially children, who wear too much of the color."
Leprechauns, on the other hand, according to, are "grumpy, alcoholic, insufferable elves in the employ of Irish fairies." Even though they were considered shoemakers, they are remembered as having a pot of gold that they guarded like starving wolves.
According to, the leprechaun has become Ireland's national fairy.

Well isn't This a Fine Kettle of Fish?

So, what my mother didn't know was that:

a) Green is unlucky.

b) I was in danger of being stolen away by fairies?

c) Saint Patrick wore Blue.

Saint Patrick wore What?

That's right folks, he wore blue. Do not get me wrong, I have come to terms with red, white, blue, orange, pink, and yes, even green. This portion will contain a bit about the Saint himself. It is well known he was not Irish at all.

Saint Patrick was, (by several accounts, including his own) A Briton and a Roman, born in Wales or Scotland, depending on whose interpretation of his letters you read.

He was led to Ireland and held captive as a slave. He claims to have found his faith there, and that he was led to return, to teach the Irish the Gospel. I like to believe it is because God's Messenger spoke to him there, in Ireland, that he was chosen to go back.

Before he could return he had to educate himself at the feet of others who are also named Saints. These, according to "The Lives of The Saints" by Rev. Alban Butler, tried to detain Patrick by telling him he was going into dangerous territory. These people were enemies of the Britons and the Romans, they did not know God.

Saint Patrick took these perplexities to the Lord in earnest Prayer. He persevered in his resolution, forsook his family, sold his birthright and dignity, to serve strangers. He consecrated his soul to God, so he could carry His name to the ends of the earth. (paraphrased from The Lives of The Saints)

According to my sources on the internet, the Shamrock was used by Saint Patrick to explain the mystery of the Trinity, how could three beings be one? In my search, however, druids had similar "three as one" and so called "power of three" symbols. Wiccans also believe in this power as do mathematicians and masons.

Saint Patrick is attributed with driving the snakes out of Ireland, which had no snakes. In spite of claims these "snakes" are more rightly the Druids, I am more inclined to think it was Tyranny that Patrick was trying to drive out. His letters do not seem to speak of paganism so much as the "let my people go" of Moses.

In that I am sure many can readily supply themselves with much more history on this Saint, I leave this portion with this: Saint Patrick went against his family, his heritage and the human survival instinct, to preach to the Irish about his beliefs. Nowhere in the Bible do I see anyone going into Egypt to preach to the people who once enslaved them. Show me any escaped slave who would return to the land of his enemy, to bring enlightenment.

Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day

Today, in America we celebrate by wearing green, we are all Irish on Saint Patrick's Day. We eat Corned beef and Cabbage (although not traditionally an Irish dish. Bacon folks, it was bacon). We drink Green Beer! It is all good. We do not teach our children that St.Patrick probably did not believe in Leprechauns, or that he never got pinched for not wearing green. Sadly we do not even tell them it is not his birthday we are celebrating, but the day he died. Fitting I think, as he would probably have wanted it that way. He was supposedly 120 years old when he died, finally going home after fighting the good fight, to set his former captors free. Forever Free!

Don't forget to sing Oh Danny Boy

Don't Forget To Dance

Don't Forget Charlie Mops

Don't forget to Laugh

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Helping Mothers and Others

If you would like to earn tangible residual income each month within a year, please contact me. You will be making a commitment to help others.

If you need help with anything from coping to writing please feel free to contact me as well. I do not charge for my knowledge. Just tired of seeing everyone taking advantage of others. Contact me (Faybe Bay) via HubPages through the link at the above right.

Have a great Day, thanks for reading, and if you like my writing please help me by rating me up, and sharing my page by clicking below.


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    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 5 years ago from Florida

      Dear Brian,

      I don't think you read the article in the spirit in which it was intended. It's about my history with St Patrick's Day and the actual facts about St Patrick. I've written some political stuff, but this article is not political in nature. I'm Irish and proud of it to be sure, but the Irish in me is as prominent as the red hair on my head. Shamrocks and wearing green are not only redundant in that respect, but they clash with my hair.

    • profile image

      Brian 5 years ago

      The wearing of the green is a symbol for when we were forbidden to profess who we are. By forcing the Irish to dress different and suppress their Gaelic ways by punishment or death, people would pin a shamrock to their cap or cloak. The furious queen Elizebeth the first tried to destroy fields of clovers. Hence the wearing of the green is in defiance of the oppressor. Today wearing of the green shows the wearing is proud to be Irish. Erin go bragh!

    • profile image

      Skyla 6 years ago

      I appreciate everything on st.patty's! Thankyou and bless you god.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Yeah, me too. I will remember it next year, One pinch per customer, might make a good hub! LOL.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That's good, and makes me smile.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      I don't know. He wouldn't ask me because of the lay off. i would have given him the money. Anyway, he said last year a kid kept pinching him, going for ten. Sean looked at him and said "one pinch! It's one per customer." The kid never touched him again.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      You have to buy a pass to wear green at his school? Is it a gang color?? That's a new one to me, but so is the pinching part Things get worse all the time with passes and money, but I hope the money goes to charity. I like what you told him to say.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Thank You Patty! I know how busy you are, Hubnuggets and all, plus you are so busy hubbing too. I am glad you enjoyed it. My son's school you have to buy a pass to wear green.

      He said "If I get pinched mom, it's not gonna be pretty."

      I told him he should have said something sooner, I'd have paid, so I said,

      "Tell them you're Irish, and if you wear too much green the Leprechauns will snatch you away!"

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Didn't know about pinching! Added this to Facebook :)

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Oy, But you are so Zen! I do not think I want to wear too much green, the leprechauns might steal me away. I'll risk the pinch.

    • brianzen profile image

      Brian 8 years ago

      Ah another oirish here on me soight. No problem sweetie wear green or go with a warm autumn color and one green sock, (or get pinched) its tradition and you get to be a part of it. Happy St. Patty's "I couldn't be more Irish if my name was Brian O' Taylor"

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Thank You Rembrandz, I know. I didn't know anything about him growing up really, just that he was making me get pinched for not wearing green. LOL

    • rembrandz profile image

      Remy Francis 8 years ago from Creative Zone Dubai

      Thank you for the indepth explanation. Now I can wish my Irish friends more meaningfully knowing the story behind St. Patrick's day and knowing who actually St. Patrick was.

      Happy Patrick's Day to you too.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      We are all Irish for St. Patrick's Day, which means there can be nothing but joy, except for those getting pinched, which frankly must stop... Ouch! Thanks Zsuzsy, you're Irish enough for me.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      When I still had my sewing shop I used to wear a button "Kiss me I'm Irish....not" on St. Patty's day, just for fun although I'm nowhere Irish.

      Loved this great hub

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Oh Rochelle, there is a bit of the Irish in all of us, especially at this time of year. My daughter's due date was St. Patty's day, but she arrived early, or I'd have had to name her Patricia!

      Thanks Roccelle, you know what your approval means to me. thank you.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Beautiful, colorful, informative in its 'meaningfullness' of tradition and legend and , most important, humorous. I wish there were more 'up' buttons. This is certainly a favorite of mine-- and I'm not any % Irish, as far as I know.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Habee, thank you so much for stopping by. You were the first to answer my questions when I was new(er). I love Celtic Woman,too.

      Madison, Thank you. I was quite the researcher, but then I got pinched a lot! LOL.

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 8 years ago from NYC

      Great hub! I enjoyed reading it very much and you explain very well about Saint Patrick. Thank you:-)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Interesting hub! And btw, I love Celtic Woman!

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you Ohma, your presence is always appreciated as well as input as you know I fret over every little thing.

      Alexandria, thank you, I was hoping the humor would come through, I have a kind of dry sense of humor. Some people don't find it funny.

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 8 years ago from US

      nice one and I like your style in writing with humour and very vibrant! nice informations as well,

    • Ohma profile image

      Ohma 8 years ago

      Very nice Faybe I love the Irish songs. great addition

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for stopping by Creativeone, as always I am so happy to see you. I hope it was not too dry.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great informative hub on St.Patricks day. Thanks for sharing all of the info. I appreciate you and your efforts. God bless. creativeone59