Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day (supposedly!) makes you invisible to the leprechauns, so we’re sure you can gather what happens if you don’t wear green on March 17.

Blue was originally the color associated with Saint Patrick and so this sea of green that we now see on March 17 is something of a modern phenomenon (that we’re pretty sure was started up by the Americans!)

The tradition of wearing green on Ireland’s national holiday, however, has become so rampant that there’s a very strict rule that should be adhered to on the day: wear green on St. Patrick's Day or get pinched!

The pinching rule on Saint Patrick’s Day

As we said, we’re pretty sure that Americans came up with this wear green or get pinched rule as Ireland doesn't go as full-force with the whole leprechaun stuff itself.

As the tradition goes, wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to make you invisible to leprechauns. They will pinch you as soon as you come upon their radar if you don't wear green!

Sorry, wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day makes you invisible to what?

Yes, you read that right. You’ll be invisible to leprechauns if you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. We know they’re not real but our folklore and mythology are some of the best things about Ireland, so why don’t we all just play along with this one! At least, just for the day that’s in it.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? (Apart from being invisible to leprechauns, of course.)

A recent survey found that in total, some 56% of Americans plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and a massive 80% of those planning to wear green on the day. But why don't we wear any other color on Paddy's Day?

As we mentioned, the original color of Saint Patrick was blue but because Ireland, as the nickname the Emerald Isle would give away, is very much associated with the color green - shamrocks are green and there's green in our flag - Americans gradually began wearing more and more green and as with most St. Patrick's Day traditions, Ireland and the rest of the world followed suit.

Rules: If you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, you get pinched!

Simple as that. There’s only one easy rule to St. Patrick’s Day and that is to wear at least a little bit of green to ward off the leprechauns. Think we can all do that?



* Originally published in 2018. Last updated in March 2024.