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FYI, This Is Why People Wear Green On St. Patrick's Day

Hello friends,

Tomorrow, as you may know, is St. Patrick's Day. As the resident MTV Style expert on all things Irish—my name is Maeve, my middle name begins with the prefix Mc-, and I've been to Ireland twice, so—I'm here to give you a brief history lesson on why you're probably considering wearing green tomorrow.

Globally, the popularity of green on March 17 can be tied to several things, including Ireland's flag, its nickname as the "Emerald Isle," the shamrock (which is an important symbol in the story of Saint Patrick), and most generally of all, spring. Unrelated, but I'd still like to note: The color of spring in New York is gray plus whatever color streets filled with copious amounts of garbage is, so, green is kinda just wishful thinking. But I digress.

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In the United States, many people wear green for an entirely different reason—to avoid being pinched by leprechauns. You see, Americans have a totally, um, unique tradition that dictates if you don't wear green, you'll be visible to leprechauns—right, of course—and they will pinch you. Wearing green, on the other hand, will hide you from them.


I would like to take a brief minute to address the fact that Americans just...completely fabricated some straight-up lies about an already mythical creature. Like, the Irish already had stories and beliefs about leprechauns—they're into mischief and mend shoes for a living, for example—and Americans were like, "Hi, yes, we'd also like to accuse leprechauns of pinching people constantly and being deceived by the color green." Some Alabama residents even claimed to have seen a leprechaun living in a tree—that's how much Americans exaggerate about the li'l guys, OK?

According to U.S. News & World Report, 104 million Americans said they'll wear green this St. Patrick's Day. How many know they're now invisible to leprechauns, though? Not enough. Spread the word.


Maeve Mc-. Keirans