St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, is a day filled with parades, music, and the ubiquitous wearing of green. But why do we don the color green on this festive occasion? This tradition, deeply rooted in Irish history and culture, symbolizes national identity, religious significance, and a connection to the lush landscape of Ireland.

Historical Roots of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people in the 5th century. Over the centuries, the day commemorating his death transformed from a solemn religious observance into a celebration of Irish culture and heritage that resonates worldwide.

The Symbolism of Green in Irish Culture


Greenthe color most associated with Ireland, is emblematic of the island’s verdant landscape, often referred to as the “Emerald Isle.” Green also holds a place in Irish folklore, representing luck, nature, and the leprechauns of Irish mythology.

In addition to the vibrant tradition of wearing green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day, incorporating green jewelry into the day’s attire has become a cherished practice for many. Pieces like the Emerald Green Shamrock Brooch or the Irish Harp Brooch with emerald CZ, offered by The Irish Jewelry Company, not only enhance the festive spirit but also embody the rich heritage and craftsmanship of Ireland. These exquisite items, adorned with symbols deeply rooted in Irish culture—the shamrock representing luck and the harp signifying the soul of Ireland—allow individuals to carry a piece of Irish history and folklore with them. Wearing such jewelry on St. Patrick’s Day serves as a personal tribute to the Emerald Isle, elegantly expressing one’s pride in Irish heritage and participating in a global celebration of Irish identity.

St. Patrick and the Color Green

Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story, whether myth or truth, has cemented the shamrock and the color green as central symbols of St. Patrick’s Day.

The Color Green and Irish Catholic Identity

Historically, green became a symbol of Irish nationalism and resistance, especially during times of British rule. The phrase “wearing of the green” signifies Irish pride and the struggle for independence, closely tying the color to Irish Catholic identity.

The Real Color for St. Patrick: Blue vs. Green

Interestingly, St. Patrick was originally associated with the color blue. Over time, green took precedence, likely due to its association with the shamrock and its significance in Irish nationalism.

St. Patrick’s Day Across the Divide: Catholic and Protestant Traditions

In Ireland’s complex religious and political landscape, colors carry deep meanings. While green is broadly worn by Catholics on St. Patrick’s Day, some Protestants may choose to wear orange, representing their heritage. However, the global celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has seen people of all backgrounds embracing green.

Global Celebrations and the Universality of Green

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by millions around the world, with iconic landmarks lit up in green, reflecting the universal appeal of this Irish tradition.

Contemporary Celebrations and the Importance of Wearing Green

Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day has transcended its origins, becoming a fun and inclusive tradition that unites people across the globe in celebration of Irish culture.


Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day Catholic?
The tradition of wearing green is tied to Irish Catholic identity and the symbolism of the shamrock, used by St. Patrick to explain Christian beliefs.

What does the color green signify in Ireland?
Green represents the lush landscape of Ireland, Irish folklore, and national pride.

What is the real color for St. Patrick’s Day?
While St. Patrick’s was initially associated with blue, green has become the color of choice due to its cultural and historical significance in Ireland.

Do Protestants wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?
While green is predominantly associated with Irish Catholics, the global celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has seen people of all backgrounds, including Protestants, embracing the tradition of wearing green.


The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is a vibrant expression of Irish identity, history, and the spirit of celebration. It bridges past and present, uniting people around the world in a shared appreciation for Irish culture and the values of inclusivity and community. As we don our green attire, we participate in a tradition that goes beyond mere color, embracing a rich tapestry of history, faith, and the enduring spirit of Ireland.