Why Does Everybody Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day?


In the 5th century lived a man named Patrick who was kidnapped from Britain at the age of 16, part of the Roman Empire at the time, and brought to Ireland as a slave. He escaped, but later returned and brought Christianity to the people of Ireland. After his death, stories about his life became more and more ingrained in Irish culture. For example, one story talks about how he used the three-leaved clover, a plant that is associated with Irish culture to this day, to explain the Christian concept of the three aspects of God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the Irish people.


Starting in the ninth or tenth century, the Irish began to celebrate the death of Saint Patrick on March 17 of every year. Because many Irish have settled in North America in the last 300 years, St. Patrick’s Day festivities have also caught on in a big way in both Canada and the US. These festivities include music, feasts, and street parades.


But the one thing that people most commonly think of when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day is the wearing of green clothing. Green is the color associated with St. Patrick and Ireland itself. If you forget to wear at least one (or preferably more) green item on St. Patrick’s Day, you might invite criticism from your friends, classmates, or coworkers. Another popular activity on St. Patrick’s Day is to drink beer with one’s friends, and many pubs, overflowing with people on March 17, even dye their beer green for that one day.
但有一件只要到聖派翠克節大家大多會想到的是 穿戴綠色的衣物。綠色這顏色與聖派翠克與愛爾蘭自身文化有關。假如這一天你忘記至少穿戴一件(多件更好)綠色的衣物飾品,你可能會遭到朋友、同學或同事的批評。聖派翠克節另一項受人歡迎的活動就是和朋友一起喝啤酒,3月17日這天許多酒吧擠得水洩不通,他們甚至為了這一天將啤酒染成綠色。

1. kidnap (v) to take someone captive, usually for a ransom  綁架
The criminal kidnapped the rich man’s son and demanded a million dollar ransom for his return. 

2. slave (n) a person owned by another person and forced to work  奴隸
It was common for rich people to own slaves in the Roman Empire.

3. ingrain (v) establish  使根深蒂固,使深深地印在腦中
If children are taught to be polite at a young age, this behavior will become ingrained in their minds.

4. aspect (n) a part or feature  外觀,樣子;方面,觀點;(文)體;部分
Having a positive attitude can improve many aspects of one’s life.

5. festivities (n) (usually plural, countable) activities associated with a festival  慶典,慶祝活動
The school’s Halloween festivities will begin at 9 AM.   

6. overflow (v) spill over because too full  氾濫,溢出;充滿,洋溢
Jenny filled her glass with beer too quickly, causing it to overflow.

7. dye (v) to permanently color something, such as hair, liquid, or fabric  染色
Misty is thinking of dyeing her hair green.

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. to this day (phr) until now  直到今日
To this day, no person has ever walked on the surface of Mars. 

2. catch on (phr) to become common, popular, or trendy   變得流行
It’s surprising how quickly fashion trends from Korea catch on in other parts of Asia.   

3. in a big way (phr) to a great extent 大規模地;到某種程度
Larry tried to help out with the project in a big way, even though he wasn’t officially on the team.      

Exercise 課後練習題

1. After being _____________, the victim was hidden away in a basement until the police found her.

2. The maid complained that her boss treated her like a ____________.

3. Respect for elders is deeply _______________ in East Asian culture.

4. It is hard to describe Tom; there are many different _______________ to his personality.

5. The New Year’s ______________ went on until the early morning.

6. The concert hall was ______________ with passionate fans.

7. The women in this village knit their own clothing and then ______________ it with natural colors.

8. Two years ago, Barbara’s cat ran away and _______________ she still doesn’t know what happened to it.

9. Has this song ______________ in your country yet?

10. Harry Potter is popular ______________ among boys and girls alike in my school.

1. kidnapped
2. slave
3. ingrained
4. aspects
5. festivities
6. overflowing
7. dye
8. to this day
9. caught on
10. in a big way

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. Which of the following does the passage NOT discuss?
a. The historical background of St. Patrick’s Day.
b. The life of St. Patrick himself.
c. Common methods of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
d. Typical foods eaten on St. Patrick’s Day.

2. Why do people wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?
a. The color is tied to Irish culture and St. Patrick.
b. Beer in Ireland is typically green.
c. It is the main color of the Irish flag.
d. It represents nature.

1. 以下選項何者在內文中並未提及?
a. 聖派翠克日的歷史背景。
b. 聖派翠克的一生。
c. 常見的聖派翠克日的慶典活動。
d. 聖派翠克節當天吃的代表性食物。

2. 為何人們在聖派翠克節會穿著綠色?
a. 這顏色與愛爾蘭文化與聖派翠克有關。
b. 愛爾蘭的啤酒通常是綠色。
c. 這是愛爾蘭國旗的主色。
d. 這顏色代表大自然。


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