March 17th is the one day every year where everyone is Irish. Or at least, an honorary Irishman or Irish Woman. While most of us grew up wearing green on St. Paddy’s day to avoid getting pinched, then graduated to drinking green beer or Irish coffee to celebrate the day, few of us know why we’re really showing up the to bash.
Here is a brief history of “The Wearin’ o’ the Green“.
St. Patrick’s Day started out as a feast day for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. A feast day was simply a meal and a trip to church.
St. Patrick never drove the snakes out of Ireland, since there were never any snakes there to begin with. But it sure sounds cool!
It was the US that turned this minor religious holiday into a celebration. Despite the reputation of the Irish as party animals, up until about 1970, pubs were closed on March 17th. Who knew?
Oh, and The Wearing of the Green is an Irish street ballad lamenting the repression of supporters of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, has nothing to do with St. Patrick according to Wikipedia.
And the corned beef and cabbage you were going to have for dinner? Not traditional Irish fare. Cows were reserved for milk and working the fields, bacon was the meat of choice.
Despite the fact that we’ve Americanized this holiday, be sure to wear something green to keep the leprechauns away and we hope you find your pot of gold!
Attribution for this graphic to www.Giraffe.ie.