Why Do You Get Pinched on St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick's Day pinch rules: Made up or cultural relic?

St. Patrick's Day Calendar
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There are several superstitions people follow on St. Patrick's Day. Some of these traditions include wearing green until midnight or baking and enjoying Irish soda bread with family and friends to help protect your household. You may also remember enduring a day of uncomfortable, painful pinches from friends and family members.

Whether you follow these traditions or not, have you ever questioned the St. Patrick's Day pinch rule? Is this an ancient cultural practice passed down from generation to generation, or was this just a silly game some older brother invented to gang up on his younger siblings? Here's more about the St. Patrick's Day traditions we practice and where these superstitions originated.

St. Patrick's Day Pinching Folklore

It's common for people to wear green on St. Patrick's Day because of the holiday's association with Ireland's nickname, the "Emerald Isle," and its flag's colors. In addition, people wear green since shamrocks are commonly associated with this holiday.

According to folklore, you get pinched on St. Patrick's Day for not wearing green because green makes you invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns like to pinch people (because they can!).

History of Wearing Green on St. Patrick's Day

According to Paul Finnegan, the former Executive Director of the New York Irish Center, wearing green symbolizes Irish Republicanism, a nonsectarian movement from the late 18th century. This political movement campaigned for Ireland to become an independent republic. In the 19th century, Irish immigrants came to America and celebrated St. Patrick's Day and their heritage by wearing this symbolic color.

So go ahead and wear your finest green dress or tee this St. Paddy's day and share these fun facts you've learned. (Note: We don't condone pinching those who choose not to wear green, but celebrate with a whiskey drink as you must!)

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