Have you ever noticed the tremendous role that color plays in representing and enriching certain holidays? For example, can you imagine Christmas without red holly berries and green pine trees? Or Halloween without orange pumpkins? Chanukah would certainly not be the same if white and blue were not its representative colors. There is no doubt that erasing traditional colors from holidays would change the depth of meaning of those special days, as well as our feelings toward them.
Green is the unforgettable color that has forever marked Saint Patrick’s Day and made it distinct and memorable. Saint Patrick’s Day, which began being celebrated by Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the 1700’s, was originally linked to the color blue. Green was adopted as the holiday’s main color later, in honor of “the Emerald Isle.” The clover, which Saint Patrick himself would use to his illustrate his teachings about Catholicism, is another of Ireland’s symbols that inspired the color green.
Most everyone wears green clothing on Saint Patrick’s Day. Those who don’t know they are in danger of being pinched. This tradition came from the Irish belief that wearing green renders one invisible to leprechauns, who will apparently pinch anyone they are capable of seeing (i.e., those not in green).
Today’s Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are characterized by the color green. They often feature green drinks, green food, and green decor. The city of Chicago even dyes its river green each year for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! The parade is a festive affair, with individuals from all over the world in attendance. Last year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade goers enjoyed “unseasonably perfect” weather in Chicago, and were reported to have had an excellent time.
What would Saint Patrick’s Day be like without the color green? It would still hold the same historical meaning, but would not have that special feeling that the much loved holiday evokes. Do you feel that colors “make” a holiday? What colors represent what holidays to you? Segmation would love to hear your thoughts on the connection between holidays and color. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the “comments” section below. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
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