Why We Don’t Wear Blue On St. Patrick’s Day

why we don't wear blue on st. patrick's day

Posted on March 17th, 2020

Great things come in green

Happy St Patrick’s Day! At Tanasi, you know we have to have a certain respect for all things green. After all its the color of the Tennessee grown hemp plants that power all our favorite CBD products. Green is a powerful color synonymous with all things natural, botanical, adventurous and wild. No wonder it’s our favorite!

St. Patrick’s Favorite Color Wasn’t Green!

This March 17th the shamrock shakers and shillelagh wavers will be out in force celebrating Maewyn Succat. Who’s that you say? Why it’s Saint Patrick of course! And who is St Patrick? The man some call St. Paddy actually went by a few names in his time. English by birth, St. Patrick actually emigrated to Ireland around his sixteenth birthday in either the 4th of 5th century, if you can call being captured by Irish pirate slavers emigration! He began his new life as an Irishman working as a shepherd, a suitable role for a man who would become Ireland’s greatest Christian missionary.

The name Maewyn Succat translates roughly to “young shepherd,” but Patrick referred to himself by the Latinate name Patricius, which evolved over time and language to the English Patrick. While he probably didn’t have much time to pack before departing from his home for the Emerald Isle, Patrick brought one thing with him, his devout Catholic faith.

While most Irish at the time practiced a form of pagan polytheism, St. Patrick is credited with performing thousands of baptisms, starting hundreds of churches, and was easily Ireland’s greatest missionary converting much of the nation.

It was St. Patrick’s prominence as a religious figure that likely contributed to the many tales about him driving the snakes out of Ireland. In reality, Patrick didn’t shoo away any reptiles with his shepherd’s crook, there were never any snakes in Ireland.

This fable is likely symbolic, as the snake has represented sin within the Christian tradition since Adam and Eve ate that one fateful fruit cup.  Another symbolically significant element of St. Patrick was his favorite color. Nope, not green, blue! So, let’s learn why we don’t wear blue on St. Patrick’s Day.

How St. Patrick went green

It may surprise you, but it’s true, St. Patrick has been historically depicted in and associated with the color blue.

In fact, during medieval times the official color of the Order of St. Patrick, part of Ireland’s chivalry was a shade of sky blue known as, “St. Patrick’s Blue.” So where did the green come from? The answer is likely tied to the American tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Sometime during the 17th century, Christians began celebrating March 17th, the anniversary of the saint’s death, as St. Patrick’s feast day. While traditional feast day celebrations were mostly somber affairs involving church services and prayers, St. Patrick’s feast day was an opportunity for indulgence.

That’s because March 17th falls during Lent, a time when Christians have historically abstained from indulgent meals and alcohol. As time went on the holiday’s popularity grew and was first celebrated in America by Irishmen conscripted in the British army and stationed in a pre-annexation Florida.

The first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parades took place in the mid-1700s in New York and Boston and were motivated by more than religious devotion, they were political actions held by Irish American immigrants showing ethnic solidarity in protest of their low social station.

As St. Patrick’s Day evolved from merely a religious observance to a show of Irish national pride, the color green naturally came to represent the holiday. Known for it’s lush, verdant fields, Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, and its flag is said to bear the colors green, orange, and white for the Catholics, Protestants, and their shared peace, respectively. And there you have it – the reasons why we don’t wear blue on St. Patrick’s Day. Hope you enjoy the day and happy St. Patrick’s Day from Tanasi Green Team!

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