Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today I am Wearing White

Happy March 17th! No, I did not say Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of you will be joining in the various types of celebrations or means of commemorating this annual “holiday.” The most visible means of lending support or expressing solidarity with this holiday is “the wearing of the green.”

Of course that is followed by green hair, green beer, green water fountains, and green shamrocks. Most folks, who think about today, will get up and browse through their closets looking for something green to wear, from underwear to outerwear. The funny thing to me is that most folks don’t know what they are “conveying” by the “wearing of the Green.” Did you know that originally the color for St. Patrick's day was blue and not green? Green became the utilized color when it was discovered that Patrick used a green, three leaved clover in an attempt to explain the Trinity. 

As I get up this morning, among the many things tasks of the day, I will do two things. First, I will rummage around my closet looking for something white to wear today. Secondly, I will call my youngest daughter Stacy and wish her a happy 29th birthday!

Now, you ask, why will you wear white? And What does the wearing of the green mean? I am glad you asked, so let me fill you in.

Since 1691 Ireland has been ruled by Protestant forces of the British Empire. Northern Ireland has tried to put off this rule for years. Ireland was Catholic in faith and resented the protestant rule of England.

In 1798 the “Irish Rebellion” broke out in an attempt to win Catholic freedom. The wearing of a green shamrock in one’s hat was a sign of support or solidarity with the Catholic forces (Society of United Irishman) trying to overthrow the Protestant rule.

Unfortunately, the protestant regime of Britain responded with horrible tactics of murder, torture, wrongful imprisonment. I deplore the tactics of my “so-called Protestant” predecessors" and in no way support either their British rule over Northern Ireland or the forced imposition of Protestantism while suppressing Catholic freedom.

By the way, the wearing of green and the shamrock in the hat was a hanging offense. This was a very painful time during Ireland’s history. That is why if one is found not wearing “green” one is pinched. This way one can "feel the pain" of this horrid oppression.

Where does the white come in? Orange is symbolic of Irish Protestants while green is symbolic of Irish Catholics. On the Irish flag, there is an orange stripe, a green stripe and a white stripe. The orange is for the Protestants, the green is for the Catholics and the white is for the hope of peace between the two.

The orange on the Irish flag stands for the Protestants widely known as Orangemen in Ulster after William of Orange. They dress in Orange for the day if they celebrate it.

Since, I am not catholic nor do I sympathize in any way with catholic dogma (theology) I choose not to wear green. However, as a “protestant” (I am really a baptistic non-denominationalist rather than “protestant”) I do not condone as I have said the behavior of the “Orangeman.”

The last few years, however, after learning the distinction and purpose of the colors green and orange, I took to wearing orange. I loved it when people who had no clue as to why everyone was suppose to wear “green” asked me why I was wearing orange.

However, last year, I realized something as I visited this subject again, I had forgotten about the third color on the Irish flag, white. I am going to wear white today to symbolize my solidarity and support for peace. 

I have no plans to dye my hair green or orange. Nor do I think I will put green or orange food coloring in my my beverage tonight. Regardless of what color my daughter wears today, I still am going to call her and tell here happy birthday and how much I love her.

How do you acknowledge or celebrate "St. Patrick's Day?

What is your favorite part, tradition,
 or memory of this "holiday?"

If you were to come across a Leprechaun today, 
what would you want from him?

Happy 29th Birthday to our youngest daughter Stacy A. Moreno of Mesa, AZ! I love you SAM4


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Happy birthday to your Daughter, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and your family.


ps Green hair wouldn't suit you Gregg,

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Being British Gregg I don't agree with what you say about British Rule in Northern Island, I don't usually voice my opinion about politics but this comment I do disagree with,


Persis said...

Very interesting history lesson. It's also interesting that folks without a drop of Irish blood wear green today.
I forgot what day it was, so I am wearing pink. Maybe in honor of A.W.?

Arlee Bird said...

Interesting information that I did not know the specifics of. I always disliked the wearing green aspect of St Pat's Day and getting pinched if I didn't.

I never felt any real kinship to the Irish until some years back when I discovered that my ancestors from my father's side came from Ireland. Apparently, they were not overly proud of being Irish since they did not seem to make it very well known. They came to England in the early 1700s but soon departed for the Colonies in the mid-1700s. I always thought we were of English descent until this history was uncovered and passed on to me.

I'll probably put on something green when I leave the house later today, but if I don't nobody better pinch me. I hate that.

Tossing It Out

jel said...

since my DH's family came from Ireland, we have cornbeef and cabbage for supper :)

it was a shamrock not a 3 leavead clover~ that's what DH said

and happy bday to your daughter :)


In my before Jesus days it was just another excuse to get drunk. Since my conversion it doesn't mean anything to me except that I get to eat a few green cookies :-)

Trisha said...

I had no clue, Gregg. Very interesting.

I love making this day fun for all of us. I have some Irish in me, and my Beloved toured Ireland on foot many years ago. I made a wonderful meal of corned beef and cabbage (and that cabbage was a beautiful green...not overcooked and yucky looking). He did enjoy a beer and some soda bread, too, and now I'm off to make green milkshakes with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Happy Birthday to your daughter, too!