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:


  1. I get a lil’ be wacky on St. Patty’s Day with the green, but I put it all on my kid now 😛 (Did you see the pic?) I’ve actually dyed my hair for St. Patty’s Day on a few occasions (not the spray stuff I put in my kid’s hair, but real dye that lasts at leas a week). It’s mostly a nostalgia thing for me. My mom always made a big deal of St. Patty’s Day, so doing with Abby now makes me feel closer to her.

    The research about the colors is fascinating. I had no idea! . . . I’ve also never heard of the pinching thing though. I think that’s just silly ::shrug:: (ya know, cause dying hair green isn’t silly, ha!)

    I never did much research on St. Patrick. I knew about him bringing Christianity to Ireland, but I never dug further into that. I read a few articles this year about how the snakes were really Pagans (specifically Druids) who were converted or driven underground. By all rights, that should make me less inclined to celebrate the holiday . . . but it’s always been more about Irish culture to me than Christian culture (regardless of how accurate that is). So, I think I’ll start doing both . . . where my green and add a few snakes to my wardrobe 😛

    Oh, and I definitely think green eyes count!

    P.S. I’ve totally missed your blog!


    1. I had always assumed growing up that the pinching thing was a worldwide thing, but I have heard from a lot of people who didn’t know about it…I can imagine the horror from a kid who moves to another city or state and doesn’t wear green, gets pinched and then is like what the heck, man?
      I hated getting pinched and I honestly don’t remember pinching much other people cause I didn’t like getting pinched myself. I also read that if you are pinched in the wrong, you’re allowed to pinch the other person back 10 times! OUCH!….Feel bad for someone pinched violently in the wrong…this could lead to a huge fight!

      Interesting about the snakes…I like hearing all these different culture traditions I wasn’t aware of. 🙂
      Thanks for agreeing with me on the green eyes and I miss your blog too! I got to catch up! 🙂


  2. Americans make a MUCH bigger deal about St Patrick’s Day than the Irish ever have! And most Americans are NOT of Irish origin or Catholic. It’s just another excuse to party and drink, just like Cinco de Mayo, which is not a big deal in Mexico. I wish Americans created their own party days if that’s really what they want, rather than steal from other countries…


    1. Good point! I have some Irish in my blood but it’s further back in my family tree than directly from my parents or grandparents. I would be all for an American party day!


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