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 wondering if there are any old wives tales about babies born on St. Patrick's Day. It's always fun to know some trivia-worthy information that has to do with your child.

"There really is no great richness of tradition regarding babies born around the time of St Patrick's Day," Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, an assistant professor in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies, and Folklore at University College Dublin, tells Romper. However, that's not to say traditions don't exist at all. "Babies born at that time were sometimes called after the saint (i.e., Patrick or Patricia, or their Irish-language equivalents)," Fhloinn says. Of course that doesn't mean you have to name your child some variation of Patrick. There are plenty of great baby names for little ones born on March 17 that are a subtle nod to the holiday on which they were born.

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. So in honor of the quickly approaching lucky holiday, check out what old folklore (both Irish and otherwise) has to say about babies born on St. Patrick's Day.

1. They Will Find Meaning & Happiness In Life


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 last quarter moon, which falls on March 15. Cultures around the world have put a lot of stock in the lunar cycle, and many believed the moon directly affected their daily life. People born during the last quarter moon tend to develop deep attachments to the people, places, and things in their lives, according to Moon Giant, allowing them to find meaning and happiness in even the smallest parts of their day.

Those born during this time also tend to hold onto moments and experiences of the past. While they do so from a place to love, it's important to differentiate between a healthy amount of reminiscing, and forgetting to live in the moment. As long as last quarter moon babies find a balance, they'll be kind and loyal additions to your life.

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. 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 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.

Of course if you don't cover up all the mirrors, that doesn't mean your baby's spirit won't be free, so don't stress if you realize you forgot to unscrew all the bottle caps in your house. And definitely don't give your babe a dab of whiskey just in case.

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 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," author Farrin Chwalkowski writes 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 life milestone. 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.

Perhaps they — okay, let's be honest, you — will decide green is their favorite color early on and you can go for a green, nature-inspired theme for their nursery. There are actually tons of amazing tree-pattern wallpapers out there that would pair beautifully with wood-tone furniture, and a zen nursery based on colors found in nature (greens, browns, sky blue) is a pretty good backdrop to raise a new life in. In fact, you might find that embracing all the greenery that the holiday, and now your baby's birth, is associated with is calming for you more than anyone else.

Sources interviewed:

Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, an assistant professor in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies, and Folklore at University College Dublin

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