If you see people in the United States with unusually bright green clothes or hats today, that’s due to recognizing St. Patrick’s Day. From what I could ascertain on the internet, Americans wear green in spite of the Irish considering it bad luck. According to National Geographic:
In the United States, it’s customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. But in Ireland the color was long considered to be unlucky, says Bridget Haggerty, author of The Traditional Irish Wedding and the Irish Culture and Customs Web site.As Haggerty explains, Irish folklore holds that green is the favorite color of the Good People (the proper name for faeries). They are likely to steal people, especially children, who wear too much of the color.
…which explains why on March 16th 1995 I couldn’t find so much as a green scarf in all of Limerick. Since my time there was so long ago, I certainly don’t feel like any kind of authority on matters of how people in Ireland celebrate St. Patrick’s Day nowadays. But being in Virginia, you can bet I’ll be wearing distastefully clashing lime and kelly green tunic and jumper with fond memories of hiking along windy bluffs in the rain.