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St Patrick’s Day 2020: Why Chicago River is Dyed Green? Here’s Why The Colour is Significant to Feast of St Patrick


Chicago River Green (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

It’s St Patrick’s Day today. Every year March 17 is celebrated as Feast of Saint Patrick, a very significant celebration for all people of the Irish community. The day started as a religious holiday and celebrations of Irish culture and heritage. And one of the significant ways of celebrating this day is the green dyeing of Chicago River. It is a tradition that has been carried on for years but do you know why? Also, why is the colour green so significant to the Irish. On this St Patrick’s Day 2020, we tell you a little something about both these traditions. Happy St Patrick’s Day 2020 Messages and Parade HD Images: WhatsApp Stickers, GIF Images, Facebook Photos, Greetings and SMS to Send Wishes on Feast of Saint Patrick.

St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is the one who got Christianity to Ireland. March 17 is said to be the day on which St Patrick day passed away. Since then St Patrick’s day is celebrated as a religious day but eventually, it evolved into a feast now marked with drinking and party-centric affair. Grand parades are held throughout the Irish diaspora. The earliest recorded parade was held in 1601 in what is now St. Augustine, Florida. But this time the celebrations see a major lowdown due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Even the Chicago river will not be dyed this year. But let us look into these traditions further. St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Celebrations and Parades in Ireland Cancelled Over Coronavirus Pandemic.

Why Chicago River is Dyed Green?

Today the dying of Chicago river has festive connotations to it. But way before in the 60s, Mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley wanted to develop the city’s riverfront area. The river was, however, filled with sewage. And to order to get to the problem of pollution, he asked pouring of a special dye into the river.

In 1961, Stephen Bailey—part of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local, saw everything decked up n green for St Patrick’s celebrations. They wanted to see if they could cover the entire river in green. They poured 100 pounds of a chemical into the water and the river remained green for a week. Now over the years, Plumbers Union pours a lot of food colouring into the Chicago River. The authorities use two to three motorboats, one or two large ones with the dye. It takes about 45 minutes for the colour to set in completely. And once it’s dyed, the river will stay green for around 24 to 48 hours. Today, its become of the major attractions of the celebrations all over the world.

Watch Video of Green River in Chicago:

Why Green is the Colour of St Patrick?

People celebrating St Patrick’s Day dress up in green and get the best of their green outfits including jewellery. But why green? One of the ancient folklore states, the colour green makes one invisible to leprechauns, who like to pinch anyone they can see. Green is also considered to bring in good luck and prosperity. Green is native to Irish nationality and desires for their independence.

Today’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations are more around merrymaking, dressing up and drinking beer. There are Irish traditional music sessions and carrying shamrocks. It is also widely celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, by people of Irish diaspora.