Every year of my life, St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and I have questioned why we wear green and why do we pinch someone NOT wearing green, but I have never really looked into WHY. Today, I decided to research the background and found some very interesting insight into this holiday.
It turns out that EVERYONE wearing green is a very American thing, indeed. People in Ireland, where this holiday originated, wear green, but some people also wear orange. Why? Well, The Republic of Ireland colors are green, white and orange. The Green represents the Catholic side of Ireland while the orange represents the Protestant side. The white in between the colors represents the unity between the two religions. Therefore, in Ireland, only Catholics wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, while Protestants wear orange.
And as for the pinching, it turns out that this represents part of the violence shown towards those in Ireland who wore orange on St. Patrick’s Day. Somehow, this all led to everyone in America wearing green to avoid getting pinched! I, for one, can understand that logic. I remember kids pinching each other for not wearing green, some to the point of violently pinching so as to make the other kid cry. I always thought this was semi-hypocritical that we were told 364 days out of the year to NOT pinch but somehow on a HOLIDAY, of all days, it was OK if the other person was not wearing green.
I remember getting pinched several times myself and telling my mom about it and she said, I shouldn’t get pinched because I have green eyes. I thought this was the most clever thing until I tried saying this and kids seemed to think it didn’t count! Well, why ever not? Don’t green eyes speak of an Irish heritage in the blood lines? I mean, I do have a bit in my blood and I had red-strawberry blonde hair at my birth! Granted, I was also born with blue eyes but they were blue eyes that changed from green to blue constantly until they were green with a blue halo around the pupil. Now they are just simply pure green about 99% of the time. I WOULD say 100% but on rare occasions, people look at my eyes and mistake them for blue. This always makes me raise an eyebrow and wonder what the heck?!
I told my husband yesterday he could not pinch me because of my green eyes and he also said they didn’t count. BUT, I find a strong argument against this due to living in 2012, when people can WEAR contacts that change the color of their eyes! If someone is wearing green contacts, wouldn’t you say that counted? They are wearing something! Now, I do wear contacts, but only for sight purposes, not to change the color of my eyes, but I do sort of wear my eyes, don’t I? I mean, I take them everywhere with me. I literally can’t leave home without them…Beat that, MasterCard or American Express, whichever one it is with THAT saying! I have left home without my driver’s license, purse, house keys before, but never my eyes!
So….I decided to ask the Internet Gods or rather, Google, for their opinion on green eyes counting as wearing green. AND, I must report that a lot of what I found online were people that disagreed with my opinion. UGH! Most people seem to have the opinion that it has to be something you PUT on for that day. But then a green tattoo seems to count. I don’t necessarily agree with that. Maybe if you just got the tattoo recently then, but if you have had the tattoo for years, how are you putting it on for that day? That seems unfair to count an old tattoo as being exempt every year but not the eyes. For me, green eyes do count and will always count but it IS fun to wear a little green too.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If you do, do you think pinching can be taken TOO far by people sometimes?
And, a poll for everyone to answer, please: