St Patrick’s Day has been historically associated with paying homage to St Patrick, one of Irelands patron saints who worked as a missionary. He fought to banish pagan worshippers. Now it’s a calendar event all over the world.
The Irish love a good party and the 17th March is no exception. It’s often celebrated with parties and parades in cities and towns around the world, but in Dublin it just has that much more meaning. So much more they actually celebrate with five days and nights of events, most of which are free of charge. There is music, street theatre, carnivals, comedy, dance, a treasure hunt and night spectacles. Imagine 3000 performers strutting their stuff for an audience of around a million. There’s lots of Guinness drunk and the city is a sea of green.
For other parts of the world, it’s an equally celebrated tradition. For New York City, St Patricks Day is a widely celebrated event. There is a distinct Irish- American culture in the US and more popular on screen stars than we realise have their roots in the emerald aisle. Actresses such as Zooey Deschanel, leading lady Saoirse of the hit film Brooklyn all come from the Emerald Isle.
The Chicago River was dyed green for St Patrick’s day in 2005 and other parts of the US such as Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and New York also take part in dying water in public places. People also guzzle down Irish beer such as Guinness and wear green at Irish themed parties and hit up Irish clubs and pubs.
London goes hard when it comes to celebrating St Pats day. Celebrations start well before Thursday March 17 with Sunday being the typical time people crack out the Irish food, dancing, singing and Gaelic themed things. There is a parade and Trafalgar square is filled with people wearing green hats with shamrocks on them.
Irish pub crawls are a typical Aussie tradition on St Pats day. Some businesses play homage to St Patricks day with a special breakfast and lunch and lucky door prizes up for grabs. There are parades mainly held in Sydney and Brisbane with people dusting off their green wigs and leprechaun costumes for the day.
If you’re keen to explore Ireland on St Patricks Day, whether you’re a tourist of not, Pat Liddy, a well-known Dublin historian, author and artist has wonderful walking tours of Dublin. His love of and enthusiasm for Dublin is evident on his walking tours which are the result of many years of research. The streets come alive with history, heritage and tales of years gone by to take in. The modern city’s vibrancy is not neglected on the tours, be it the medieval cathedrals, ancient city walls, Georgian squares and Victorian grandeur.
Pat Liddy’s 1 ½ hour Walking Tours of Dublin are $15. They run rain, hail or shine every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11am.