Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March and is named after Saint Patrick; the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It’s a day Christians attend church services and the Lenten restrictions of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter are lifted for the day.
My mom is Irish, but then again, isn’t everyone on St. Patrick’s Day; the day everyone and everything takes on somewhat of a green hue. In my town, even the court square fountain water is dyed green. So I knew it was inevitable; true to tradition, mom would most surely come up with something green for me to wear today.
I was relieved to find out it didn’t involve humiliating headgear. She explained that wearing green prevented me from being pinched! My feline sister, Smoki, is off the hook when it comes to the green garb as mom lets her green eyes count as wearing green; totally not fair. Now why and where did the pinching ritual take place? It’s thought that the pinching started in the early 1700s, about the time that awareness of St. Patrick as a holiday came to the fore, too, in Boston, in the Massachusetts colony. They thought if you wore green, it made you invisible to the leprechaun, which was good because they would pinch anyone they could see. So the pinching is to warn and remind you about the leprechaun. Pinching those not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day seems to be more of an American tradition than in Ireland.
I hope you have the luck of the Irish today and have a Happy St. Paddy’s day!! xoxox Baylie O’Ragan.