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Why do people dress up in green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Although this celebration originated in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is increasingly celebrated around the world. And no-one can resist this celebration full of the colour green and a sense of joy.

St. Patrick’s Day is held every year on 17 March, which marks the death of the patron saint of Ireland in the 5th century. However, this celebration with a religious origin has grown over the centuries, transforming into a day all about good luck charms such as shamrocks, beer and anything you can imagine that is green.

It’s a huge celebration and symbol of Irish culture, and we are going to talk about it today.

Dress up in green on St. Patrick’s Day with Havaianas

Why is the colour green used on St. Patrick’s Day?

If there’s a nickname that the island of Ireland is known for, it’s the Emerald Isle. And, whether you believe it or not, that nickname has a lot to do with the use of green in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Although the patron saint St. Patrick was originally associated with the colour blue (which even appears on old Irish flags), in the 18th century, a decision was taken to change it to green, which is how we know it today. But how did this change come about? The reason is very simple, it was in that century that the shamrock became a national symbol of Ireland, so it was decided that its patron saint should also be associated with it.

There are also other reasons why green has come to symbolise this day. As you know, Ireland is a country full of legends and the home of leprechauns. These tiny mythological beings are known for being great pranksters, mischievous and lovers of crowds. But what does dressing in green have to do with them? It’s the best way of blending in with the environment to avoid them finding you, pinching you or causing mischief.

It is also believed that green, being the same colour as the four-leaf clover, brings good luck. And for those who are Irish, it is a way of paying tribute to their Irish heritage.

St. Patrick’s Day: origin and history

We know how this day is celebrated nowadays. But have you ever wondered about the origin of this day to honour Ireland’s patron saint? As already mentioned, this date marks the death of St. Patrick, who was born in Roman Britain at the end of the 4th century, before being kidnapped and taken to Ireland.

However, what made him patron saint of the island was his conversion to Christianity. Some legends also state that he was responsible for the miracle of getting rid of snakes from Ireland, or that he explained the Holy Trinity to the Irish using the 3-leaf clover, a national symbol.

From the time of his death, this day has been celebrated with religious services and feasts. The parades in his honour, like the ones seen today in the US, actually began there and not in Ireland. According to historical sources, on 17 March 1601, one such parade was held in the Spanish colony now known as St. Augustine, in Florida. However, these sources refer to an initial parade from the year before, in 1600, organised by the vicar of the colony.

This tradition quickly took root, as more than a century later, Irish soldiers that served in the English army in the American War of Independence, organised the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, on 17 March 1772.

Clothes and accessories for St. Patrick’s Day

It isn’t essential, but dressing in green on St. Patrick’s Day is always a good option. You can opt for a total look in this emerald colour, or you can go for touches of this colour in whatever you choose to wear that day, such as green socks

If you find this tradition as fascinating as we do and you want to attract good luck, honour your Irish ancestors or throw off the leprechauns to avoid more than one pinch, we have some suggestions for how you can celebrate this day.

For example, if you are lucky enough to be somewhere with good weather, you can opt for some green flip flops or sandals for your feet. You can also choose footwear that is more suitable for other climates, such as green espadrilles. Or why not go and spend some time in nature and dress in green?Whatever you decide to do to celebrate this day, remember that a bit of green will do you no harm and it will connect you to this Irish tradition.

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