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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March.

It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),  the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.
The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland,  as well as Irish heritage and culture in general. The day generally involves public parades and festivals, céilithe, and wearing of green attire or shamrocks. 
Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat.
It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world; especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

St. Patrick's Day Around the World

United States
St. Patrick's Day, although not a legal holiday anywhere in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognised and celebrated throughout the country. It is primarily observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture; celebrations include prominent displays of the colour green, feasting, copious consumption of alcohol, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late eighteenth century.

The Chicago River  
is annually dyed green on St. Patricks Day

In Argentina, and especially in Buenos Aires, all-night parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and many people wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in the downtown street of Reconquista, where there are several Irish pubs;  in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby.  Neither the Catholic Church nor the Irish community, the fifth largest in the world outside Ireland, take part in the organisation of the parties.

One of the longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parades in North America occurs each year in Montreal, whose city flag includes a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant. The parades have been held continually since 1824.
In Manitoba, the Irish Association of Manitoba runs an annual three-day festival of music and culture based around St. Patrick's Day.
In Quebec City, there was a parade from 1837 to 1926. 
The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team was known as the Toronto St. Patricks from 1919 to 1927, and wore green jerseys.

Great Britain
In Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother used to present bowls of shamrock flown over from Ireland to members of the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army consisting primarily of soldiers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Guards still wear shamrock on this day, flown in from Ireland.
Christian denominations in Great Britain observing his feast day include The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. 

Liverpool has the highest proportion of residents with Irish ancestry of any English city.  This has led to a long-standing celebration on St Patrick's Day in terms of music, cultural events and the parade.
Manchester hosts a two-week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day. The festival includes an Irish Market based at the city's town hall which flies the Irish tricolour opposite the Union Flag, a large parade as well as a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two-week period.
The Scottish town of Coatbridge, where the majority of the town's population are of Irish descent, also has a St. Patrick's Day Festival which includes celebrations and parades in the town centre.

Glasgow has a considerably large Irish population; due, for the most part, to the Irish immigration during the 19th century. This immigration was the main cause in raising the population of Glasgow by over 100,000 people. Due to this large Irish population, there is a considerable Irish presence in Glasgow with many Irish theme pubs and Irish interest groups who run annual celebrations on St Patrick's day in Glasgow. Glasgow began an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade and festival in 2007.
Saint Patrick's Parades are now held in nine locations across Japan. The first parade, in Tokyo, was organised by The Irish Network Japan (INJ) in 1992. Nowadays parades and other events related to Saint Patrick's Day spread across almost the entire month of March.

The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" because of its founding by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador where St Patrick's Day is a public holiday. The holiday also commemorates a failed slave uprising that occurred on 17 March 1768.

New Zealand and Australia
Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in New Zealand and Australia – green items of clothing are traditionally worn and the streets are often filled with revellers drinking and making merry from early afternoon until late at night.
The Irish made a large impact on the social, political and education systems, of both countries. This is due to the large numbers of Irish people that emigrated to Australia, or were brought over as convicts during the 19th century. As such, Saint Patrick's Day is seen as a day to celebrate individual links to Ireland and Irish heritage.

First Saint Patrick's Day parade took place in Russia in 1992. There is an annual international festival "Saint Patrick's Day" in Moscow and other Russian cities since 1999. Moscow Parade usually is divided in two parts – official and unofficial. The first seems like a military parade and is performed in collaboration with Moscow government and Irish embassy in Moscow, and the second is made by volunteers and seems like a carnival and show with juggling, stilts, jolly-jumpers and Celtic music.

South Korea
The Irish Association of Korea has celebrated Saint Patrick's Day since 1976 in Seoul (the capital city of South Korea). The place of parade and festival has been moved from Itaewon and Daehangno to Cheonggyecheon.

While Saint Patrick's Day in Switzerland is commonly celebrated on 17 March with festivities like those in neighbouring central European countries, it is not unusual for Swiss students to organise celebrations in their own living spaces on Saint Patrick's Eve. Most popular are usually those in Zurich's Kreis 4. Traditionally, guests also contribute with beverages and dress accordingly in green.

Locations around the world that go “green” for St. Paddy’s Day:


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