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Until then, the color associated with St. Patrick and Feast Day was actually blue. From then on, people wore green on St. And when Chicago dyed their river green for the first time in , the practice of wearing and decorating in green became a part of pop culture.

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Okay, so why all the drinking then? Originally, St. Basically, it was a day to eat and drink as much as you please in celebration, hence the traditional Irish meal of bacon and cabbage.

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But imbibing on whiskey and beer was not part of the equation. In fact, pubs in Ireland were forced by law to shut down for the holiday until later in the 20th century, and drinking alcohol on St. Then, a huge marketing push from Budweiser in the 80s convinced thirsty revelers that drinking beer and St. Much like Cinco de Mayo , many people now use the holiday as an excuse to binge drink, which fosters negative stereotypes by incorrectly associating the act of getting wasted with Irish culture.

But, at least now you can take a swig of your Guinness in pride because you know the real story.


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This is believed to be inaccurate , and the exact whereabouts of his birthplace are uncertain. Shamrock images via iconka.

St. Patrick's Day: Why do we wear green?

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Why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and other Irish traditions

After he arrived, Patrick became interested in Christianity and started teaching others about the religion. Patrick's Day is celebrated on the day Patrick supposedly died. Patrick was a real person, but some of the traditions associated with him and the holiday are actually myths. However, according to legend, Patrick used a three-leaf clover, or shamrock, as part of his teachings. Even though it's possible for a shamrock to grow a fourth leaf, a four-leaf clover is just considered a symbol of good luck.

Another legend says that Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland.

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The problem? These creatures never actually lived in the country. The fact that Ireland is an island—as well as green with leafy trees and grassy hills—means that the nation is sometimes called the Emerald Isle.

But the color that people originally associated with St. Patrick was blue! Some ancient Irish flags even sport this color. Green was finally introduced to St.

Wearing of the Green – St. Patrick’s Day

Green is also the color that mythical fairies called leprechauns like to dress in—today, at least. But tales about leprechauns date back to before green was in: The fairies were first described as wearing red. The tradition is tied to folklore that says wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, which like to pinch anyone they can see.