St. Patrick's Day - Wear The Green

Whether you’re representing the Irish, celebrating Ireland’s conversion to Christianity via St. Patrick, or simply avoiding getting pinched, there are several ways to “Wear The Green” on St. Patrick’s Day.

Still, there is more in traditions than just wearing green. In 1681, an English traveler by the name of Thomas Dinely noted a seires of St. Patrick's Day practices:

“the Irish wore Celtic crosses, had green ribbon in their hats, pinned shamrock to their clothes” Tomas Dineley, 1681

Let me introduce you to the many ways you can represent Ireland and celebrate all that St. Patrick's Day represents.

Many Ways To "Wear The Green"

Wearing The Shamrock

Felt shamrock for bootsThe shamrock is iconic for Ireland. Many associate it with the “Luck of the Irish”, but it is said to have been used to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

“In his teachings, St Patrick commonly referred to the Holy Trinity, and it is claim that he used the humble shamrock, a plant that had always grown freely across Ireland, to illustrate the symmetry of the Trinity.” The Wearing of the Green: A History of St Patrick's Day
“[Shamrock] is worn by people in their hats on the 17th day of March yearly, which is called St. Patrick's Day, it being a current tradition that, by this three-leaved grass, he emblematically set forth to them the mystery of the Holy Trinity.” Caleb Threlkeld, 1727

'Wetting' or 'Drowning' of the Shamrock

Wetting the shamrockOne interesting tradition involving the shamrock is the wetting of the shamrock.

"At the close of the festive day, the piece of shamrock, which had resided opon the wearer's clothing, was placed in the bottom of a glass or cup, then covered with punch, whiskey, or any other available alcohol. The Wearing of the Green: A History of St Patrick's Day

I'm sure it doesn't go without notice that there is often a lot of drinking involved with the revelry of the St Patrick's Day feast. This is, in large part, due to St. Patrick's Day falling within Lent (the Lenton abstinence period where Catholics are to refrain from such things). This "blessed" feast allows a one day reprieve from Lent, and thereby...a lot of indulgence.

For those looking to "wear the green" by wearing a shamrock, here are some great options that will survive through multiple celebrations...whether you choose to follow the "wetting of the shamrock" or not. (Click on the images below to view or purchase these products via Amazon.)

The Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross is an iconic symbol of St. Patrick's Day. It is a cross with a circle that is often accompanied with the celtic knot or the trinity symbol.

“It is believed that St. Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun.” Irish Blessings. (2014). The legend of the Celtic cross
"It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross...placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun." Wikipedia - The Celtic Cross

(Click on the images below to view or purchase these products via Amazon.)

St. Patrick's Day Hairstyles

Green Hair Chalk

One simple and fun way to "wear the green" is to put it in your hair...and we're not just talking ribbons here (though those are nice too). Why not try out some green hair chalk this year? There are several different types and shades available. One nice thing about hair chalk vs. sprays is that you can pick out some individual strands and mix up the look. I especially like this when working with curls! Coloring individual curls makes it "pop" without looking like stripes. This also works if you're doing any sort of updo or partial updo...which brings us to some fun tutorials for St. Patrick's Day Updos!

3 Ways to Wear a Celtic Knot

This is a great step-by-step tutorial with close ups of how to create the Celtic knot hairstyle three different ways. There's the Celtic knot half updo, the double Celtic knot, and the side Celtic knot. This gives you a good foundation to come up with your own creations as well.

How to: Celtic Knot Half Updo and Ponytail!

I love the Celtic knot ponytail - it's such a clasy, finished look. Though the video above gives slower step-by-step instructions, this tutorial shows how to do the hairstyle on yourself, using a Bobby pin to hold the loop.

3 Leaf Clover: Shamrock Hairstyle Tutorial

This video shows you how to do a shamrock hairstyle. With a few twists and hair ties, you can create your own St. Patrick's Day Shamrock updo. Add a little green and gold ribbon to finish off the look. You can also braid the three areas instead of twisting them, as that might be easier when working with only two hands.

St. Patrick's Day Green Eyeshadow Tutorials

It's always fun to have an excuse for a little more drama around the eyes and what better time to try out different styles and shades of green!

Smokey Emerald Green Eye Makeup Tutorial

As the name suggests, this is a darker, smokey look with some glittering feel to it. I like this one better for evening, but with the right outfit, you could definitely rock it in the daytime.

St. Patrick's Day Nails

How To Do Water Marble Nails

This is a super simple tutorial that shows how easy it is to do water marble nail designs. She doesn't have any special nail tools. All you will need is the following:

  • Masking tape (or almost any tape will do)
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpick
  • Water (room temperature)
  • Set of nail polish colors you desire to use (at least 2 different colors)
  • Clear coat nail polish to finish.

DIY Nail Tools

How To Add Dots To Nails

Next, you can add the dots in any design you like. As each nail will turn out a little differently from the water marbling, you can perfect the look on each nail. See the image below and how the dotting on each nail was different according to what was needed to give a finished look to the marbling.

Though there professional tools available, you also have simple tools sitting around the house that can be used for various sizes of dots:

  • Toothpick
  • Ball point pen
  • Push pin
  • Bobby pin
  • Eraser

*NOTE - If you don't wait for the water marble nail polish to completely dry, then the dots will pick up some of their pigment. This can be a great effect or a disaster, depending on your goal. Experiment and have fun!

Before and After: Nail Dotting and Water Marble

Quick Clothing Ideas for St. Patrick's Day

Though you can certainly go with the classic "Kiss Me I'm Irish" T-shirt...or it's counterpart "I'm not Irish - Kiss Me Anyway"...or even "Kiss Me I'm Pretending To Be Irish"...

...Some of you might be looking for something a little less direct. With that in mind, here are some great options:

  • Green Scarfs
  • Green Hats
  • Shamrock Laces
  • Shamrock Button Covers
  • (Click on the images below to view or purchase these products via Amazon.)

What About You?

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Are there any traditions or history that you can share with us? Any special tips on more ways to wear the green? Tell us how you make it special!

Just For Fun!

Here's a fun selection of things from Amazon: shirts, scarfs, hats, funny sayings, history, Irish Pub cookbooks, jewelry, makeup and more! Have Fun!!

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