The wear­ing of green . . .

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Orig­i­nally, the colour as­so­ci­ated with Saint Pa­trick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its as­so­ci­a­tion with Saint Pa­trick’s day grew. Green rib­bons and sham­rocks were worn in cel­e­bra­tion of St Pa­trick’s Day as early as the 17th cen­tury. Saint Pa­trick is said to have used the sham­rock, a three­leaved plant, to ex­plain the Holy Trin­ity to the pa­gan Ir­ish, and the wear­ing and dis­play of sham­rocks and sham­rock­in­spired designs have be­come a ubiq­ui­tous fea­ture of the day. In the 1798 re­bel­lion, to make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, Ir­ish sol­diers wore full green uni­forms on March 17 in hopes of catch­ing public at­ten­tion. The phrase ‘‘the wear­ing of the green’’, mean­ing to wear a sham­rock on one’s cloth­ing, de­rives from a song of the same name.

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