why do the catholic irish wear green

On March 17, we celebrate, a day rich in tradition and goes way back in history. We associate the color green with this holiday, but that color has not always been the color used on this holiday. St. Patricks Day was originally a Catholic holiday celebrating Irelands patron saint. It was only celebrated in Ireland. In the 1700s Irish immigrants in the U. S. started the first St. Pattys Day Parade in New York City. Blue was the color originally associated with this holiday. Irelands nickname is The Emerald Isle so because of this,
on this holiday. Also the green in the flag and the clover St. Patrick used in his teachings about Catholicism played a big role in why green is the color used on this day.


Some still follow the tradition in Ireland. Catholics will wear green and Protestants will wear orange. These colors are colors represented on the flag and the white in the middle represents the peace between the two. There is a legend that wearing green on this day makes you invisible and leprechauns cant pinch you because they cant see you. Nowadays, St Pattys Day is an excuse to party, drink, wear green and go around pinching people that arent wearing green. Now that you know the history behind why we wear green on this holiday, are you planning on wearing green on Monday?


On this Saint Patricks Day, you are likely to take part in that time-honored tradition of wearing green. If not, you risk punishment by pinch, an especially popular custom on schoolyards and around office water coolers. Thus, wearing green on Saint Patricks Day is not only widely practiced, its virtually required. Its hard to imagine the holiday without green. But for a growing number of people, taking part in the holiday means wearing orange. According to this increasingly popular tradition, Protestants wear orange and leave green attire to Catholics.


Thus, the color you wear actually depends on your religious affiliation. While this color tradition is not well known, it has deep roots in Irish history. Protestant Irish have been known as orange ever since 1690, when William of Orange (William III), the king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, defeated King James II, a Roman Catholic, in the Battle of the Boyne near Dublin. King Williams victory would ensure Protestant dominance on the island, and has been a source of tension ever since. Although the Orange in Williams name actually referred to a province in southern France, the color reference stuck.


This is why orange now appears in the Irish flag to symbolize the Protestant minority in Ireland. Thus, Orange Protestants have been around for quite a while, but wearing the color on Saint Patricks is a relatively new phenomenon. The first group to take part in the tradition appears to have been the Orange Institution, a Protestant fraternal organization (some might say terrorist organization) more commonly known as the Orange Order. Some members of the order wore orange in various parades on Saint Patricks Day as a mark of defiance. Ironically, Saint Patrick himself would have been surprised by all of the fuss.


Patrick wasnt even Irish; he came to Celtic Ireland as a British missionary. More importantly, Patrick did most of his work in the fifth century, at a time when Christians were simply Christians, long before any division was evident between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Therefore, Saint Patrick belongs to the whole church, not just Rome, and people of all colors and creeds should take part in the festivities. Yet for some Protestants, part of that fun involves wearing orange. So before the green-wearing Irish among you get into a pinching craze, think twice. Some of us wear orange for a reason.