Why We Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day

Wearing green for St. Patrick's Day

Why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, many theories are circulating the web. Some of these theories revolve around green being a part of the Irish Flag, Ireland being a green country, and the honoring of an old Irish custom of spreading ashes on the fields to make the land richer. Sadly, there is a darker truth about why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day wearing green.

Why We Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day

English Repression

Ireland was heavily scrutinized and under attack from England throughout history. At times the Irish people were not much more than enslaved people. “The Wearing of the Green” is an Irish song about England’s repression of Ireland around the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Wearing a Shamrock was a sign of rebellion, and green was also the color of the Society of the United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary organization. As such, wearing these revolutionary insignias was made punishable by hanging.

The Wearing of Green

Why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? It symbolizes freedom and rebellion and why so many of us participate in the tradition today. As with many holidays celebrated around the world each year, the wearing of green didn’t become as important to St. Patrick’s Day until the Irish immigrated to America. Although this time, it wasn’t because we commercialized the holiday that happened later; it was because the American Irish were trying to gain power in this country through politics. They organized their voting bloc, known as the “green machine.” This Irish movement became a crucial swing vote for political candidates, and thus the encouragement began to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day to help politicians win elections.



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