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Why Do We Get Pinched on St. Patty’s Day for Not Wearing Green?

St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun with golden pot
pixologicstudio/ThinkStock

There are certain ideals to live by according to our parents as we grow up. They include always being respectful especially to your elders, always say yes or no ma’am/sir, and wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or you will be pinched.

Okay so maybe that last one isn’t quite and ideal to live by, but I have feared it ever since I was a little girl. If I went to school on St. Patrick’s Day and wasn’t wearing green, you can bet I was hiding in corners because I was not keen on being pinched all day.

But the bigger issue is, why in the world do I get pinched for not wearing green on St. Patty’s Day? Here is what I have found…

According to a story done by a reporter for WGNO, talking to the owner of the Irish Culutural Museum in Nola has proven quite useful. The owners name is Luck Ahearn is this is what he had to say about the old and odd tradition.

Aheard said there are two reasons which include:

  1. The respectful thing to do on St. Patrick’s Day is wear green to honor Ireland. If you don’t, it is seen as shame and therefore you get pinched.
  2. The pinching phenomenon actually started in the 1700s because of the belief in leprechauns and that they cannot be seen. As you may know, these little green men are said to be pesky and always up to no good. So, if you do not wear your green, a leprechaun is sure to pinch you.

Yea, I’m still not convinced. Pinching hurts! I received my fair share of red marks growing up for making the mistake of not wearing my green on the Irish holiday. But whether or not I think it may be crazy, I will always wear some kind of green for St. Patrick’s Day.

We hope to see you in your green tonight for Patty in the Parc 2016!

Patty In The Parc Details Here

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