3 Old Wives Tales About St. Patrick's Day Babies That Are Too Good To Be True


No matter where you come from, everyone is infamously "a little Irish" on St. Patrick's Day. If you happen to be expecting your little one to arrive around the time of this merry March holiday — or if you already have a child whose birthday coincides with it — then you might be interested to know that there are quite a few old wives tales about babies born on St. Patrick's Day. As with any kind of folklore, it's fun to take a peek into the significance previous generations applied to milestones in life, such as giving birth.

Whether you're the type of person who is fascinated by fantastic fables or you tend to put old stories and myths in the category of fiction, it doesn't matter. Learning the origins and hidden histories of a popular holiday and what it means to be born on that day can be fun regardless of where your interests typically lie. In fact, you may be surprised to know that the first St. Patrick's Day was held in Boston — not Ireland. So in honor of the quickly approaching lucky holiday, check out what old Irish folklore has to say about when your baby is born.

1. They Will Be Healthy & Wealthy


If your little one is due on St. Patrick's Day, then you might be stoked to know that they'll also be arriving during the new moon, which is also on March 17 this year, according to Earth Sky. Cultures around the world have put a lot of stock in the lunar cycle and many believed the moon directly affected their daily life. Irish old wives tales have a lot to say about this phase of the moon, too. "In Ireland, a child born when there was a new moon was that to have especially good prospects for health and wealth," as is noted in Irish Superstitions. Essentially, the more light the moon gave off, the luckier your endeavors would be. In fact, as mentioned in Irish Superstitions, folks used to delay things — such as planting seeds or even giving birth — if the moon was waning and entered its less luminous phase.

2. They Are Free Spirits


Drinking tends to be a major part of celebrating St. Patrick's Day — at least it is where I grew up. However, if you're expecting, you shouldn't be so quick to toss out any of those leftover holiday pints just yet. In Irish folklore, "to be sure the baby’s soul remained free, all mirrors would be covered up, and all bottles left opened," according to an article from the official website for BBC America. Additionally, "to ward off the evil eye, some would put whiskey in [the baby's] mouth." It seems that whiskey was actually quite common back in the day as a sort of cure-all for any infant's aches and pains. But, that may be one tradition that's best left in the history books.

3. They'll Have Lots Of Luck


Pretty much everyone knows that, if you don't wear something green on St. Patrick's day, you've opened yourself up to a potential pinch-fest. But why is that verdant hue so closely linked with the holiday celebrating Irish heritage? You might be surprised to learn, "the official color of the Order of St. Patrick, part of Ireland’s chivalry, was a sky blue," and not green at all. Apparently, the change happened because, "green replaced blue because of Ireland’s nickname, The Emerald Isle, and St. Patrick used green shamrocks to teach people about the Holy Trinity," as Reader's Digest reported. Not just the color, but greenery (as in plants), are very important in Irish old wives tales, too. "The shamrock was an old Druidic mystic emblem in Ireland [and] was considered a lucky symbol," as Farrin Chwalkowski noted in Symbols of Arts, Religion, and Culture: The Soul of Nature. Chwalkowski further explained that shamrocks, the clover associated with St. Patrick's Day, were traditionally tucked into a bride's bouquet, a newborn's bassinet, or in other items which signified a milestone of life was being reached. So if your little one is born on St. Patrick's Day, you can bet there will be some shamrock decor around — which could be a sign of good luck and spirituality.

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