Why Do We Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Have you found yourself this St. Patrick’s Day trying to find cute green baby clothes and you wonder, why? When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, the first things that come to mind are probably leprechauns, pots of gold, Guinness, and the color green. It’s tradition to go overboard with all things green during this special day, but have you ever wondered why? On the surface, it seems obvious: Ireland is a country known for its green landscape, and St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday.

 

However, there are actually more complex reasons for wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. Superstition, patriotism, and political beliefs all contribute to the significance of the color on this special day. Let’s examine some aspects of Irish culture and history that will go a long way towards understanding why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day:

 

Snakes

It may only be a myth, but it is a common belief held by many Irish people that St. Patrick drove snakes out of Ireland. Modern evidence suggests that snakes didn’t exist there after the Ice Age, but the myth still persists. Green is a color we associate with snakes, so this adds an extra layer of meaning to the idea of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.

 

Shamrocks

Nowadays, shamrocks are seen as quintessential symbols of Irishness. However, the connection to St. Patrick is more of a religious one. Irish legends credit this Saint with the introduction of Christian principles to a formerly pagan Ireland. It is said that St. Patrick used the shamrock, a common plant in Ireland, as a way of explaining the Holy Trinity. Shamrocks are green, so it is plausible that the color green on St. Patrick’s Day represents a celebration of the beginnings of the Christian faith in Ireland.

 

Emerald Isle

Ireland has a wonderfully poetic nickname. It is often called ‘The Emerald Isle’ due to the luscious greens that pervade the Irish landscape. It is said that Ireland has over forty shades of green. Emeralds are a green gem, which explains why green is the obvious choice for an Irish holiday.

 

Superstition

In the 18th century, an interesting superstition about the wearing of green on St. Patrick’s Day started. Strangely enough, the superstition began in America. It was thought that anyone who forgot to wear a green item on St. Patrick’s Day would be pinched by a leprechaun! In case you didn’t know, a leprechaun is a type of male fairy common in Irish folklore.

 

Patriotism

One of the funny things about St. Patrick’s Day is that Irish people claim that there are countries who celebrate it in a more outlandish manner than in Ireland itself. Sure, there are parades in Irish towns, and the day is generally spent drinking in a pub, but America goes all out for this special day. For example, you would rarely see an Irish person dyeing their bread green or adding green food coloring to every drink. Despite the fact that it’s an Irish tradition, New York is actually world famous for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Did you know that Irish people often travel to New York just for the event? Patriotism is a logical reason why green is worn on St. Patrick’s Day, because green is a color readily associated with Ireland. The richness of the landscape, the history and folklore of the land, and even the flag are all littered with symbolism that includes the color green, so it’s no surprise that it’s the color of choice for the most famous Irish yearly event.

 

Religious and Political Divide

Another possible reason for the choice of the color green for attire on St. Patrick’s Day is religious and political affiliation. Ireland has been troubled by a stark division between Protestants and Catholics for a number of centuries. It is a unique country in the sense that there is often a blur between religion and politics. Protestants are often portrayed as being loyal to the English crown, while Catholics perceive the English as domineering colonists.

Because St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of being Irish, using the color green invokes national pride outside of British institutions and traditions. This is not to say that Protestants do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but it is not uncommon to see fights start when people introduce the Irish tricolor flag as part of the celebration.

 

Celebrate in Style

It’s evident that St. Patrick’s Day is not only a fun day out for the family, but also a culturally rich tradition. The great thing about it is that you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate it! Here at Kyte BABY we appreciate the differences in a wide mix of cultures, and America is a land known for its cultural diversity. Why not join in the celebration by treating your little one to some soft baby clothes or soft baby footies?

Whether you’re full-blooded Irish, a distant ancestor of an old Irish family, or simply wanting to join in the fun by going to the local parade, St. Patrick’s Day is a day that can be enjoyed by all. As a proud parent, dressing your infant in green baby clothes is a fantastic way of joining in the celebration. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to buy your baby a pint-sized ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ T-Shirt!

Thank goodness for that! Luckily, here at Kyte BABY, our bamboo baby clothing will ensure that your mini leprechaun will be simultaneously comfortable and stylish while you’re watching parade floats or getting together with Irish family or friends.

 

The Kyte BABY aqua footie will have your little one looking as cute as a button, and in keeping with the shades of green tradition. The bamboo fabric is stretchy and breathable, ensuring comfort and relaxation throughout the entire day.

Mint green is another wonderful shade that can really make you feel patriotic on St. Patrick’s Day. The sleep bag in mint in our store has a double zipper, allowing for quick and easy diaper changes and maneuvering while you’re out and about!

If you’re looking for something a little lighter, our onesie is a beautiful leaf green. It has short sleeves for those milder days and can be worn on its own or teamed with a cute little skirt or pair of shorts.

So while you’re preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, why not make sure your little one gets to join in the fun too?


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