The Real Reason We Wear Green On St. Patrick’s Day

If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day you’ll probably wear the color green, but did you ever wonder how the color got such an association with the holiday?

National Geographic says the original color of St. Patrick’s Day was blue. However, the color green was adopted by St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the 18th century after the shamrock became Ireland’s national symbol. Green also began to dominate due to Ireland’s nickname, “The Emerald Isle,” which became popularized in part because of the country’s lush landscape.

USA Today also reports that green is associated with Irish nationalism, after the divide between the Irish people and the British monarchy grew, and the people of Ireland wanted to separate themselves from the British, hence they dropped the color blue, and adopted the color green. As for leprechauns, they have their roots in Irish folklore, and are likely based on Celtic fairies, called “lobaircins,” that are known for stirring up magic and mischief. This eventually led to the legend of leprechauns pinching people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. (Bustle