St. Patrick's Day: Wear green or get pinched

March 17, 2014, 9:38 AM GMT+0

Nearly half of Americans have been pinched for failing to wear green on St. Patrick's day

Today Americans - both Irish and non-Irish - commemorate the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. The day is traditionally commemorated by Catholic services in honor of the saint and large parades through some of America's largest cities. The largest parade is held along Fifth Avenue in New York City, though Chicago might actually be more enthusiastic about the holiday, as they dye the Chicago River bright green.

Drinking also plays a large role in the festivities, with bars hosting St. Patrick's Day events and Catholics being allowed to suspend their Lenten sacrifices on the Feast Day.

The latest research from YouGov shows that millions of Americans (13%) are intending to go to a pub or bar on St. Patrick's Day. The vast majority (76%), however, will not. Unsurprisingly, younger Americans are much more likely to say that they will go out to a bar today, with 24% of under-30s intending to have a drink out.

One of the particular traditions of St. Patrick's Day in the United States is that people who fail to wear green are pinched. 48% of Americans say that they have been pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day, while 48% say that they have not been - though whether this is because they always wear green or because they are expert at avoiding getting pinched is unclear. 36% of Americans say that they themselves have pinched people for not wearing green.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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