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On March 17, 1762, in New York City, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held by Irish soldiers who were serving in the British army at the time.

The tradition of celebrating the patron saint of Ireland was brought to the American colonies by early Irish Settlers. The tradition spread in the mid-19th Century with an increase in Irish immigrants to the United States. Today, millions of Americans (including me) celebrate this holiday to honor their “cultural identity and history” by having parties, attending parades, and wearing green.

Speaking of wearing green, have you ever wondered where the tradition of getting pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day came from? Well according to an Irish Cultural Museum owner in New Orleans, there are two reasons. The first is to “‘shame’” someone who is not honoring Ireland on this day by wearing the color. The second, is a tradition that dates back to the time of the first parade which says that the pinching is a reminder that you could be pinched by invisible leprechauns for not wearing green. Whichever you believe, I hope you’ve got your green on today!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Hannah Trudeau is a co-correspondent for Her Campus at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an International Business and Information Systems/ Supply Chain Management double major and is minoring in French. She would love to travel the world one day for work as she loves to learn about different countries and cultures. In her free time, Hannah enjoys reading and catching up with friends.
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