Every year, St Patrick’s Day is commemorated widely in the North and the South of Ireland, where Guinness, leprechauns, shamrocks and all things Irish are celebrated to remember the country’s patron saint. But it’s not just in Ireland that the holiday is recognised. Annually, on March the seventeenth, numbers of people from all walks of life, all over the world come together to celebrate the feast day. In fact, in America in recent years, it has become quite the tradition for the White House fountain to be dyed green to honour the great St Patrick.
The day which remembers the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, is celebrated in Japan, Russia, Canada, China, America and many other international countries around the globe. Although not a public holiday in the UK, parades, events and celebrations are held up and down the country. With most cities in the UK having large Irish communities, the fun can be week long.
In London, festivities continue to grow each year with a festival located in the capital’s best locations such as Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. The St Patrick’s Day Parade includes marching bands from Ireland and the UK which head out from Hyde Park corner.
In Birmingham, Irish culture and heritage is also celebrated widely, with the city claiming to have the third largest parade in the world, attracting large crowds in the city’s centre. Festivities for the 2014 festival are expected to be the best yet with a new festival board elected and a keen committee. With a craft beer festival, Gaelic tournament, school art exhibition and an Irish culture day, attendees will have their fair share of Irish festivities to pick from.
In Manchester, Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, will be visiting the St Patrick’s Day festival and opening Manchester’s new Irish World Heritage Centre. The city will be painted green with shamrocks and ribbons, parades, festivals and even an Irish market hosting stalls selling Irish food, drink, clothes, jewellery, souvenirs and arts and crafts.
No matter where you are, Irish or not, St Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get together with friends and family and have fun, celebrating Irelands patron saint. Grab a Guinness and head to the parade nearest to you.