Why did so many Americans wear green to work today?
March 17 marks the death of St. Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. Originally, the day was aimed to commemorate Christianity’s arrival in Ireland. Throughout the years, it has turned into a celebration of all aspects of Irish culture.
St. Patrick’s day is recognized all over the world. However, aside from the Irish, North Americans seem to have a special appreciation for it. On this day, you’ll typically see waves of green pretty much anywhere.
Belz outlines 3 main reasons for this.
The first is that the green is synonymous with the emerald colored landscapes of Ireland. Second, according to Irish folklore, leprechauns will pinch anyone who’s not wearing green. Last, St. Patrick is said to have used the Shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity.
With the green, you’ll also likely spot hundreds of wide-grinned party-goers with large pints of Irish beer in their hands. Glittery, over-sized leprechaun hats, and green, feather boas accessorize ginger wigs and beards, paying tribute to the red-tinted locks of the Irish.
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s day is a national holiday. So, all celebrators are free to flock their cities singing and dancing to traditional Irish music and munching on delicious potato cakes and Guinness pudding.
In North America, however, partisans need to wait until 5 pm to bring out the whiskey flasks. Many offices in this region will be decorated with clovers, the symbol of Ireland, and pots of gold – for which leprechauns are known for. There are no gift exchanges. Rather, it’s a day during which a carefree feeling flows through the air and people relish classic traditions and the joy they bring.
So, the next time you find yourself visiting your American offices on St. Patrick’s day, don’t forget to wear your emerald tie and shoes!
Vocabulary | Vocabulaire:
marks the death of
correspond au jour de la mort de
aimed to commemorate
visait à commémorer
aspects of Irish culture
les aspects de la culture irlandaise
waves of green
des vagues de vert
to be synonymous
emerald colored landscapes of Ireland
les paysages émeraude d’Irlande
shamrock | clover
des fêtards souriants
ginger wigs and beards
perruques et barbes rousses
to pay tribute to
rendre hommage à
the red-tinted locks of the Irish
mèche de cheveux colorée rouge des Irlandais
pots of gold
to flow through the air
flotter dans l’air
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