I Am Not Irish.

Nor am I a school teacher. Therefore, I have no plans to wear green today.

Or do I?

I’m actually scheduled to volunteer at my kids’ school this morning, so when deciding what to wear, it occurred to me that it is, in fact, St. Patty’s Day! Perhaps I should look festive.

As a school girl, I would always make sure I had a hint of green on my person, but this was more out of fear of getting pinched than to be festive. It was pretty much a non-holiday where I was from — something only celebrated in the classroom.

Living in Philly (or on the outskirts of the suburbs, but whatever…) there’s a lot of green on St. Patty’s Day. And a lot of talk of soda bread and Irish potatoes and corn beef. (I’m not even totally sure what any of that IS.) I always feel a bit left out up here when March 17th rolls around. These traditions are foreign to me, a girl raised in the Bible Belt with a Southern Baptist church on every street corner but only one Catholic parish in town. (Or were there 2?)

Oh and also? I am Scottish. As in, my paternal grandmother was a Scottish immigrant, and my maternal grandmother’s family came from Scotland in the 1600s. (My mom has recently been tracing her ancestry.) So I have it on both sides. My dad used to joke that he was going to make me wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not even completely sure he was joking.

So this all begs the question, WHAT DO I WEAR?

Isn’t that ALWAYS the question? Ha!

Green or orange — two of my favorite colors. I often wear them together.

Hey. Now there’s an idea!

You’ll have to wait for the next installment of What I Wore Wednesday to find out what I decide.

So how do you celebrate St. Patty’s Day? Or do you?

UPDATE: I’ve done a little bit o’ research. Evidently green is for Irish Catholics and orange is for Irish Protestants – thus both colors in their flag? But both are associated with the Irish ancestry. Not that one’s ancestry prohibits one from participating in St. Patrick’s Day festivities around here. It seems that everyone wants to get in on the fun, and who can blame us? Lucky Charms and Guinness… need I say more?

And by way of further update, I didn’t end up going to school after all so my efforts at looking festive were all in vain. Anyone want to meet at the Irish pub for lunch?

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30 Responses

  1. I didn’t know about the Protestant Irish wearing orange until I was in my 30s, so if you wear orange, I don’t think anyone will get it! LOL But I was the same as you growing up. I wore a little bit of green to avoid being pinched. We never did really get into the corned beef, etc. Although, cabbage is in season right now, so that makes a lot of sense.

    1. Yeah, I don’t suspect anyone will get it. It would be my own little private joke. I enjoy entertaining myself, can you tell? Heh.

      I haven’t bought a cabbage in my life so I don’t expect I’ll start now, but perhaps we should have shepherd’s pie for dinner. I have ground beef defrosting. 🙂

      1. Being an Irish girl (McGee is my maiden name and I’ll spare you the numerous Irish names in my family) I’d get the Orange. I’ll be wearing green at school – you won’t be able to miss me, I’ll be the giant “Pea”. Can’t wait to see what you choose! Its fun to be festive. And yes I have green on under the Pea.

  2. Well I have lived here all my life and only discovered the traditions of catching leprechauns , being pinched, eating corned beef etc when I began to blog!

    As a Protestant growing up in the north there was barely a mention of it. My kids just have a normal day at school and nothing special or traditional on the menu tonight either!

    I have however come into Belfast with my camera to take a few photos of the parade this morning.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day whatever you wear or do and feel free to link up this post to my St Patricks Day blogging carnival 🙂

  3. Oh I meantvto also say we are Ulster Scots as my family originally came over from Soctland way back then …. Maybe we are related !

  4. Uhm, being the overachiever than I am, I wore the only green item I own (eddie bauer wrinkle-free long sleeve button down) last night to church. So I guess I’ll go nekked today.

  5. My mom is huge into decorating & dressing for every barely-holiday so I always wore my green. We’re not Irish at all but my husband’s family is, so it was big when Rayna had the “luck” to be born today 🙂 So now we Shamrock it out until she’s old enough to dislike it I guess.

  6. No corned beef on Ireland! They eat Bacon and gabbage! Being married to an Irishman I would get the Orange. My husband as only been in the States 7 years. I grew up in NYC where St. Patrick’s day is a reason to drink ALL day. in Ireland it is a religious holiday and you must attend church.

  7. Growing up my school uniform took care of the green;-) We have no Irish in either side of our families but the boys are wearing green for a spirit day at school. There were also little pots of gold on the table for breakfast. We also had our once a year horrible breakfast of Lucky Charms. There are leprechauns hidden all over the house. The child that finds them all gets the “gold” that wouldn’t fit in the pots and therefore keeps me from eating said chocolate.
    I may have also made shamrock shaped sandwiches for their lunch and put leprechaun cookies in their lunch….I can’t help it, I love to celebrate with my kids.

  8. I am zero Irish-but my Husband’s maternal grandparents are Irish so it’s more of a big deal to his mom than him but I don’t wear green OR orange lol I just pick out an outfit. I never got the whole ‘wear a certain color’ holidays. I guess I like to be a rebel!
    Can’t wait to see what you chose 😉

  9. As a kid growing up in the Philly burbs and my family heritage being of Irish decent, we are all decked out here! We are also Prostants, but we always had cornbeef and cabbage on the day and we always wore green. Now my kids have their “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and I will continue the traditions for them!

  10. I have an odd ex-friend who always wears orange on St. Patrick’s Day because she hates Irish people; she used to say (and probably still does, though thank goodness I no longer have to hear about this every March because we are no longer friends) that she is Italian and Italians hate the Irish. I have no idea where she got the idea that wearing orange today shows that you do not like Irish people or that you’re protesting St. Patrick’s Day. Or that all Italian people are obligated to hate Irish people. It’s all kind of sad. Also? What a bitch. I used to wear lots of green on St. Patrick’s Day just to piss her off.

    1. i seem to remember as a kid that on the eve of st. pattys day parade in nyc some italians would get up early like 3am to paint over the green street lines orange or purple. i cant find no proof of this.

  11. I’m about 50% Irish but I didn’t discover that until I was an adult. My parents weren’t very into genealogy I guess. We never really celebrated in my house. I was in Scotland on Orange Day once (separate Protestant holiday) and it was crazy…people get violently drunk IN the parades and all around watching them. I’ll probably pick out something green to wear today.

  12. You are not Irish so you can wear either color. However, your husband and kids are orange Irish and they have a lot of N. Ireland bloodlines. Perhaps related to Janmary above…

    1. Yes, in my research this morning, come to find out orange is for Irish Protestants and green is for Irish Catholics.

      I always knew I liked JanMary!

    2. HA! I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office when I saw this comment. I laughed out loud. (Oddly enough people look at you when you do that).

  13. We are having corned beef and cabbage tonight – next year we will invite you over. It is a delicious and easy meal. And…growing up, my Dad always had me wear orange and I never understood exactly why. He just told us to tell people we are the Orange Irish. I still try to wear a touch of orange just for him!

  14. when i was in middle school, one of our teachers was scottish and wore all black on st.patty’s day. because she was in mourning or something like that. weird.
    glad you ended up not having to really worry about it! 🙂

  15. Am irish by birth so have to say corned beef is not on the menu at home,dont get irish connection,but ,xxx happy st pat’s day

  16. my wedding colors are kelly green and orange! i’m glad someone else shares the love, i get a lot of strange looks when i tell people 🙂

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