The Origins of St. Patrick’s Day and the Tradition of Wearing Green


As Sunday approaches, many in Texas Forest Country and around the globe prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, a cultural and religious festival held annually on March 17th. But beyond the sea of green attire and decorations, few know the rich history and origins of this day. Let’s delve into why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated and the reason behind the tradition of wearing green.

The Man Behind the Holiday

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not Irish by birth. Born in Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned around 432 to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends grew up around him — for instance, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.

From Religious Observance to Global Celebration

Originally, St. Patrick’s Day was a religious feast observed in Ireland with great reverence. As Irish immigrants spread across the world, they carried with them their traditions and customs, transforming St. Patrick’s Day into a global phenomenon that celebrates Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

Why We Wear Green

The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day dates back to the 17th century. Green is one of the colors in Ireland’s tri-color flag and is associated with the green hills and landscapes of the country, often referred to as the “Emerald Isle.” The shamrock, which St. Patrick used as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity, is also green. Initially, blue was associated with St. Patrick. However, the color green became linked to the holiday after the Irish Rebellion of 1798, when the clover and green uniforms became symbols of nationalism and rebellion against the British.

Another reason for wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is tied to Irish folklore. It is said that wearing green makes one invisible to leprechauns, the mischievous fairy creatures of Irish mythology. Leprechauns are known for pinching anyone they can see, so wearing green is thought to protect against their playful pinches.

Modern Celebrations in Texas Forest Country

In the Texas Forest Country, St. Patrick’s Day might not involve chasing snakes away, but it’s a time for community, joy, and perhaps a touch of the Irish spirit. Residents often celebrate with themed events, wear green attire, and enjoy traditional Irish food and drinks. It’s a day for everyone, regardless of heritage, to celebrate the culture and contributions of the Irish.

So, this Sunday, March 17th, as you don your green attire, spare a thought for St. Patrick and the origins of these traditions. St. Patrick’s Day is more than just parades and green beer; it’s a day rooted in history, celebrating the spirit of Ireland and the legacy of one of its most beloved saints. Whether you’re attending a parade, enjoying a slice of soda bread, or simply wearing a splash of green, you’re part of a tradition that spans centuries and continents.

For more cultural insights and local events celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, check our events link at Texas Forest Country Living.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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