St. Patrick’s Day: The Amazing Global Celebration Construed

Updated On: September 13, 2023

A man dressed as St. Patrick leads the parade in Japan

Bringing millions of people together from different parts of the world, St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most hotly-anticipated celebrations of the year. Originally, this religious and cultural event commemorates when St. Patrick, the most recognised patron saint of Ireland, died on March 17th. Throughout the festival’s history of more than 400 years, it has moved away from its origins and began to receive international recognition.


So Who’s St. Patrick?
Celebrations and Festivities
A Social Media Spotlight on St. Patrick’s Day
Side Dishes
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Day in Numbers
Traditions, Myths, and Legends
An Extended Throwback of Ireland
But How and When Exactly Ireland came into Existence?
Heaped History
The World Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day
A 1600-Year-Old Tale

So Who’s St. Patrick?

Even though St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he is not Irish. He was actually born in Britain near the end of the fourth century. He came from a very wealthy family of priests. His parents named him Pádraig.

As a teenager, St. Patrick was taken prisoner by Irish raiders and was brought to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity herding and tending to sheep. During his years in captivity, he was shocked at first when he knew that there is no religion in Ireland. So, St. Patrick turned to God for comfort and he spent a lot of time praying.

In his autobiography, he confesses that he saw a vision where God told him to leave Ireland. After his escape, St. Patrick was able to return to Britain and he was reunited with his family.

Becoming a Priest

In Britain, St. Patrick decided to become a priest like the other members of his family and began his religious training. After being ordained a bishop, St. Patrick returned to Ireland. He arrived there on March 25th 433 AD and began preaching the gospel all throughout the land. With the help of his disciples, St. Patrick unburdened many people and also started building churches all over the country.

St.Patrick’s Work in Ireland

In Ireland, St. Patrick shared Christianity with people. Because St. Patrick had lived in Ireland for so many years, he knew the language and the people. He combined old Irish customs and traditions with the new message about the Christian faith. He did this to help the native people keep their own culture. For example, St. Patrick invented traditions to honour the Easter holiday.

Easter, of course, is one of the most important Christian holidays. But the Irish didn’t celebrate Easter, they worshipped other gods, and they worshipped their gods with fire. St. Patrick used fire in his Easter celebrations. He used these ideas to explain this new religion. This also honoured the local culture.

A statue of St. Patrick in the valleys of Ireland.
This statue of St Patrick, on Slieve Patrick, overlooking Saul and Raholp, was erected to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the landing of St. Patrick in Ireland. Photo Credit: Albert Bridge.

The Symbol of The Shamrock

For 40 years, St. Patrick converted and ministered to the people he taught the many gospel principles including the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick is also closely connected to the green shamrock plant. It has three leaves. Today, the Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland because St. Patrick used it to teach the people about the Holy Trinity.

St. Patrick died on March 17th 461 AD in the south of Ireland at the place where he built his first church. After his death, March 17th became St. Patrick’s Feast Day. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world. What began as a Roman Catholic holiday to honour and remember a beloved Saint has now become an international celebration of Irish culture.

He also added a circle to the common Christian cross. This became the Celtic cross or the cross of Ireland. The circle was the symbol of the sun. The sun was a powerful Irish symbol for many people. St. Patrick combined the circle and the cross. This showed that Jesus was like the sun.

Celebrations and Festivities

Every year on March 17th, the city of Chicago in the United States does something unusual. They change the colour of the river that runs through the city. They use food colouring to turn the water green. Cool, right? And get this, they use about 18 kilograms of this vegetable-based dye for the water. They do all of this to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Chicago River dyed green%2C focus on river Bringing millions of people together from different parts of the world, St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most hotly-anticipated celebrations of the year. Originally, this religious and cultural event commemorates when St. Patrick, the most recognised patron saint of Ireland, died on March 17th. Throughout the festival’s history of more than 400 years, it has moved away from its origins and began to receive international recognition.
The Chicago River is dyed green every March 17th as a part of the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day.

Many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations involve a lot of food and drinks. Some of the food and drinks are green, too. Another tradition is to wear green. And if you do not, someone may just pinch you. They may pull a little bit of skin between two fingers. But Chicago is only one place that celebrates St. Patrick.

Globally Celebrated

People in cities and countries around the world celebrate him. People even celebrated this day on the International Space Station! Yes, in some cases, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are out of this world. That was definitely the case in 2013 when the holiday was celebrated there.

An astronaut named Catherine Coleman played an Irish flute and a tin whistle while floating weightless in orbit. And not to be outdone, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield also celebrated the day in 2013 by wearing green and taking photos of Ireland from space.

But the biggest celebrations today, obviously, are in Ireland. It has been a public holiday there since 1903. Today, in the city of Dublin, about one million people take part in St. Patrick’s Festival. This celebration is five days long. It includes parades, music, dancing, outdoor plays, fireworks, and more!


These celebrations evolved as the status of these groups within the mainstream culture have improved. When large numbers of Irish people first immigrated to America in the mid-19th century, they were met with hostility and racism, spurring an era of nativism and anti-Catholic sentiment.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred nearly a century earlier, but it was not until this era that the celebration grew in both size and scope and became a vehicle for both moulding and celebrating Irish American identity.

Today, however, as anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiments have diminished, the celebration has become more universal and less tied to Irish American identity, as common slogans like “Everyone’s Irish Today” seem to indicate.

As Irish people moved to other countries, the traditions went with them. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in New York City, in The United States, in the year 1762. Irish soldiers were serving in the English military there. They marched through the streets. This parade helped the soldiers feel a sense of their national culture. They celebrated the parade with Irish symbols, music, and food. One of the most popular instruments used in these parades were the bagpipes.

Ashwaubenon High School Marching Band%2C 2011 NYC St Patrick%27s Day Parade 2 Bringing millions of people together from different parts of the world, St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most hotly-anticipated celebrations of the year. Originally, this religious and cultural event commemorates when St. Patrick, the most recognised patron saint of Ireland, died on March 17th. Throughout the festival’s history of more than 400 years, it has moved away from its origins and began to receive international recognition.
Trumpeters from the Ashwaubenon High School Marching Band, marching along 5th Avenue at the 2011 Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York City.

Different Parades Around The World

The Irish Foreign Ministry’s embassy network organizes over 350 events each year to mark St. Patrick’s Day. The parade in Munich is the largest parade in mainland Europe with 25,000 participants and spectators. The shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on 98-foot long Bridge Street.

The city of San Antonio, Texas, is home to the world’s only St. Patrick’s Day River Parade. Tokyo has the biggest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Asia. There were 12 St. Patrick’s Day parades in Japan in 2016. The most southerly landmark to ever go green for St. Patrick’s Day is The Scott Base Sign in Antarctica. The Ice Concert Hall in the Ice Music Festival in Sweden is the most northerner greening event.


St. Patrick’s Day can be, and usually is, a long day full of celebrations for any member of a household. So, starting the day with a good, hearty breakfast is a must. You will, of course, start the day with a Full Irish Breakfast if you want to follow tradition.

Full Irish Breakfast

To be a real Irish (breakfast), it must include bacon, sausages, and eggs plus Fadge, or the popular Boxty. Boxty is basically an awesome potato cake made with buttermilk (which the Irish use a lot) and some potato and some seasoning and they’re always fried. They’re really good and popular. Doesn’t hurt to add a few slices of soda bread or wheaten bread.

Wash all this down with lashings of tea, and you will be set up for the day ahead.

Main Dishes

St Patrick’s is the day for traditional Irish foods, hale and hearty fare to fill stomachs and keep energy levels up. No list of main course recipes would be complete without certain dishes that will leave your stomach wanting for more. It’s true that in the US, it is traditional to eat Corn Beef and Cabbage, but there are many, many other superb Irish dishes from which to choose.

One of these main dishes is coddle. Coddle is a mixture of bacon, sausage, potatoes, onions, and possibly leftovers. There is no specific set of recipes because it mostly depends on cooking leftovers in a pot, kind of half-boiled, half-steamed, and it’s called a coddle. Absolute comfort food.

Side Dishes

Of course, you can’t have the main courses without side dishes. Luckily, the Irish people present some fantastic ones, not least colcannon and champ.

Take colcannon for an example. It is a mashed potato dish (too many potatoes at this point, am I right?) with kale or cabbage mixed into it. So you cook it with either of those and then you add lots of butter, milk, and salt pepper. It’s a succulent side dish to many other things.


There is always room for something sweet on St Patrick’s Day. Barmbrack is one of Ireland’s most famous bakery products. It is a sweetened bread that has carrots and sweet fruit. It’s also super yeasty. The name comes from “breac” which means speckled, referring to the fruit in the loaf. Guinness and Baileys Irish Cream also have a way of sneaking into Irish cakes and puddings.


So, what do you think is the best there about Dublin when it comes to eating and consuming whatever your belly desires? When in Dublin, you have got to check Ireland’s most famous export. Not talking about Colin Farrell or the famous singer Bono, I’m talking about Guinness: Ireland’s most popular international drink.

There are many fine pints of Guinness in Dublin, but at the source, at the Gravity Bar in The Guinness Storehouse. You can find one of the best, with amazing views of Dublin City. If you really want to get under the surface and join some locals for a drink, head to L. Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter.

L. Mulligan Grocer has one of the best craft beer and whiskey selections in Dublin. As well as a very handsome selection of stouts, pale ales, wheat beers, dark lagers, fruit and spiced beer, amber red and brown ales, gluten-free beers, and ciders. Just make sure you’re thirsty and in the mood to indulge on St. Patrick’s Day.

Pint of Guinness On St. Patrick's Day
Pint of Guinness On St. Patrick’s Day

What about whiskey, or “uisce beatha” as it is known in the Irish language? The Irish have been said to have learned how to make it while on the Crusades, and they taught the Scots.

Ireland is essentially an Island of framers, and they have terrific meat and dairy products. There, everything is sourced locally. People should definitely try the Irish black pudding. The scotch eggs are great, too! It is truly an authentic destination for St. Patrick’s Day.

A Social Media Spotlight on St. Patrick’s Day

Holidays are an especially engaging time for brands on social media. In fact, 59% of marketers have claimed using social media for more than 6 hours each week. Sure, most of the attention and money went towards Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales, but who said that the smaller holidays like St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t be engaging?

While most brands choose to remain neutral, many big brands would rather not get pinched on the minor holiday of St. Patrick’s Day and have branded their social media pages to celebrate it. There are some famous marketing campaigns that were established to promote the companies’ brands using St. Patrick’s Day branding.


I don’t know about you, but when I think about St. Patrick’s Day marketing campaigns, I immediately think of McDonald’s limited edition Shamrock Shake.

For those of you who don’t know, every year, McDonald’s releases a green, mint-flavoured milkshake known as the Shamrock Shake, for one month leading up to the festive day. This is a long-running campaign, and it gets a ton of hype every year from its customers awaiting its release.

In my opinion, the Shamrock Shake is a prime example of a great marketing campaign. Because it creates a sense of urgency and excitement in their customers for a seemingly average product, that would exist if they simply added a mint chocolate chip milkshake to their permanent menu.

Bord Bia

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, launched a St. Patrick’s Day competition in 2013 to promote the positive attributes of Irish Beef!

The campaign, created by Spinnaker ran for six weeks titled ‘The Biggest St Patrick’s Day Feast ever.’ They asked fans via a Facebook app to choose their favourite menu they would like at their ‘virtual feast’. All participants were entered into a free prize draw to win a trip to Ireland for six people, as well as daily prizes being on offer!

Discover Ireland

Just missing out on the top spot is tourism board Discover Ireland. They ran a photo and video competition encouraging fans to “Go Green” for St. Patrick’s Day. Participation gained entrants to a chance to win a prize. This prize was for six people to go to Ireland for the homecoming event, The Gathering.

Although at first glance this campaign seems unremarkable in terms of originality, from a strategic standpoint it was ideal. The concept and task were deliberately simple to stimulate participation across all demographics.

Users simply had to capture their best “green” photo or video to represent St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish. Would-be photographers were given carte blanche to include everything from fancy dress to Dublin’s most iconic buildings turned green using photoshop. This creative license served to further emphasise the inclusive nature of the competition.


Another popular Irish brand, Guinness, also regularly has St. Patrick’s Day themed campaigns on social media. This year, they used their platform to help give back to the community with their #StacheForCharity campaign.

Explaining the details on the brand’s Facebook Page, this campaign asks customers to share their experiences with Guinness, saying “adult beer lovers can sip their pint slowly and share photos of their stache”. Whether self-grown and groomed, drawn-on, or Guinness-enhanced – with @GuinnessUS using #StacheForCharity.

For every picture they received, they donated £1 to the Guinness Gives Back Fund. A non-profit organization that helps provide communities with the support they need.

With a little creativity and planning, you can tap into the heightened traffic and buzz around holidays with social content that speaks to consumers and still gets your brand message across.

Worth mentioning that public figures and celebrities on TV tend to usually wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Some of them might even conduct hilarious segments to make fun of what happens on the occasion.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

New York City is bursting with inspirational architecture, and no surprise, the houses of worship do it best. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of its oldest and most iconic: A true New York landmark.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
The facade of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photo Credit: Jean-Christophe BENOIST.

With more than 5 million visitors a year, everyone is welcome to the largest neo-gothic cathedral in the entire United States. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is as magnificent as it is massive. A national historic landmark with twin 330 foot high spires reaching heavenward. It can hold 2220 people inside and the outside takes up an entire city block.

Location of the Cathedral

The church is in the middle of one of the world’s most expensive shopping districts, Fifth Avenue. It’s hard to believe with all the hustle and bustle along Fifth Avenue today that this area was once so far north of the city, it was considered the wilderness. That’s why in the 1850s when Archbishop John Hughes wanted to build a massive cathedral there. People called it Hughes Falling.

The Creation of the Cathedral

Construction began in 1858 in the middle of the Civil War. Lack of funds nor lack of manpower would stop the bold, artistic dream of architect James Renwick. Renwick even travelled through Europe to get inspiration for this cathedral. He based his gothic revival design on the cathedral in Cologne, Germany.

St. Patrick's Cathedral from the inside.
Interior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photo Credit: Jean-Christophe BENOIST.

The doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral finally swept open in 1879, sadly, 15 years after Archbishop Hughes’s death. He wanted to build what he termed a cathedral of suitable magnificence to, in a sense, mark a territory and say that “we’re Catholics and we’re here to stay, we’re in the city of New York, and we have this great thriving Catholic population.” He was obviously referring to the huge numbers of Irish immigrants, hence St. Patrick becoming the patron of this cathedral in New York.

St. Patrick’s Day in Numbers

  • 34.5 million modern Americans claimed Irish Ancestry in 2010, which is 4 million fewer than two decades before, and nearly 5 times the population of Ireland.
  • People will get through 13 million pints of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, which is over double the amount consumed on any other day. Two billion pints are sold every year.
  • 150,000 people take part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York every year. It is the oldest civilian parade in the world.
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in America happened in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • By law, no pubs or bars were allowed to open in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day for over three decades. Thankfully for revellers, the law was repealed in 1960.

More Numbers Surrounding St. Patricks Day

  • American St. Patrick’s Day partiers will spend an average of $34.5 on booze, clothes, and accessories bringing the total amount of money spent by the Americans to a massive 4.4 billion dollars. That’s just a tad below the total revenues for the whole Irish tourism sector in 2015.
  • And the celebrations have a lot to do with it, boosting the country’s image worldwide. In 2014, over 120 ‘Greenings’ were made to mark the day including the Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, and, of course, the Chicago River.
  • The economic impact for Ireland is not negligible. Airbnb hosts were expected to earn over 1.4 million dollars this year.
  • For Dublin, St. Patrick’s Day is a big boost with 100,000+ international visitors attending the parade boosting the festivities revenues for the capital alone to $77 million.
  • 25,000 is the estimated number of U.S. residents who speak Irish Gaelic. All except about 2,500 of them also spoke English “very well.”
  • There are 16 places (incorporated places and census designated places) or county subdivisions in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. The most populous of these places in 2014 was Dublin, Calif., at 54,695.

Traditions, Myths, and Legends

Many St. Patrick’s Day traditions, myths, and legends are rooted in history, while others have evolved over time. So why don’t we break them all down and maybe other lore associated with the holiday?


Ireland never had snakes to drive out: The myth entails that St. Patrick had to drive out the snakes from Ireland. In reality, in all probability, Ireland never had snakes, to begin with. Before the last Ice Age, Ireland was simply too cold for snakes. Then when the glaciers receded, it left the land an island impossible for snakes to reach.

Fossil records from the country corroborate this as no evidence of snakes has ever been found among the animals living there. The legend that St. Patrick stood on an Irish hillside and delivered a thundering sermon that drove the island serpents into the sea is probably just an allegory for his eradication of pagan ideology, with snakes standing in for the serpents of this druid methodology.

More Myths

Christianity was already thriving in Ireland: The majority of historians say that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. While others say that in 431 AD, Pope Celestine is said to have sent a bishop named Palladius to the Irish believing in Christ. Patrick didn’t come back to Ireland until a year later in 432 AD. This would indicate that there was already an active Christian community there.

Palladius actually fits into some theories about St. Patrick’s life, namely that the modern version of St. Patrick is an amalgam of two men. There were other numerous clerics active in Ireland at that time and many Irish churches are dedicated to some of these bishops.

Dive in into Irish mythology here.


Now here’s where it gets a little spooky…

Guinness Brewery Full of Rats:

There’s a story that has made the urban legends for years upon years that health inspectors found drowned rats in vats where Guinness beer is prepared. This couldn’t be any more false. It simply never happened and was quite possibly started by a jealous rogue competitor.


Leprechauns are a type of fairy, though it’s important to note that the fairies of Irish folklore were not cute Disneyfied pixies; they could be lustful, nasty, capricious creatures whose magic might delight you one day and kill you the next if you displeased them.

These mythical creatures first came to light in Irish folklore as far back as the 13th century. They started out as shoemakers. Some Irish legends say if you find one of these tricky creatures, you can barter his freedom for three wishes.

So, yeah, leprechauns are cool and all, but no one really knows how this grew to its current popularity. The original appearance of leprechauns in Irish history dates back to the Danes’ invasion of Ireland. According to the myth, leprechauns guarded the Danes’ wealth. In reality, the leprechauns appear to be nothing more than a fictional creation that went viral pre-Internet style.

Would you like to read about one more intriguing Irish legend?


There is a number of traditions to consider that are associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Some are associated with religious traditions when others relate to people celebrating being Irish for the day, even for those who have no connections with Ireland.

Many people wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day that has become known by many as the wearing of the green to celebrate their Irish heritage. Green is one of the colours in Ireland’s flag and the country is known as the “Emerald Isle.” Also, green is the colour of the shamrock.

According to Christian Science Monitor, the first colour associated with St. Patrick’s Day was blue, but it changed to green in the 17th century. And why do you get pinched if you aren’t wearing green? The tradition was reportedly started by Americans likely in the early 1700s. Revellers apparently thought that if you wore green you would be invisible to leprechauns, which would pinch anyone not wearing green. People started pinching those without green on him as a reminder about the leprechauns.

Most, if not all, practising Christians in Ireland attend church on St. Patrick’s Day as it’s a holy day of obligation. Families dress in their best clothing, with shamrocks pinned on their breasts, and attend church as a family.

An Extended Throwback of Ireland

The era of the middle 4th to the middle 5th centuries is an important time in Ireland’s early tradition. Not only are new kingdoms formed and new dynasties created, which extend into the historical period, but the foundations are set for Christianity to have a dramatic and permanent impact on the pagan inhabitants of the island. The stage is set for a monastic and literary tradition that will set Ireland apart from many other European countries during the coming Dark Ages.

The ancient Irish were expansionists. From the end of the third century onwards, the Scotti, as the inhabitants of Ireland were generally called, established a number of colonies on the island of Great Britain: in north-western and south-western Wales, Cornwall, and western Scotland.

Intercourse between these immigrants and Christian Britons and members of the Roman imperial forces could possibly have led to the conversion of some of them and ultimately to a haphazard spread of the faith to Ireland; particularly to the south and east coasts opposite the settlements in Wales and Cornwall.

The Irish had strong trading links with Roman Britain and Gaul and some dealings with Iberia. While they were unfamiliar with ‘the interior parts’ of the island, Tacitus (c 55-120 AD) tells us that British or Gallic merchants had a reasonably good knowledge of Ireland’s ‘harbours and approaches’ and there is good evidence that Roman traders reached not just the coastal harbours but points well inland along large rivers like the Nore and the Barrow.

It seems that wine and oil (and possibly wheat) were carried in considerable quantities from the Continent to Ireland. Archaeologists have discovered ample evidence of wine trade, especially in the south of the country. It is probably no coincidence that the Corcu Loegde of the modern west Cork, who later claimed to be the first Irish Christians, carried on an extensive wine trade with France.

It is interesting to note, also, that the word Bordgal, the Archaic Old Irish form of the place-name Bordeaux, is to be found in the toponymy of Westmeath and Kilkenny, and is also a word in Goidelic meaning ‘meeting-place’.

More about Irelands Past

The Irish also imported pottery, metal-work, and bric-àbrac from Roman Gaul and Britain. In exchange for these commodities, they exported copper and gold, slaves, hides, cattle, and wolfhounds.

While evangelization is not the primary motive of the commercial traveller, and while French wine-shippers were doubtless more intent on filling Irish stomachs with liquor than Irish souls with religion, it is possible that foreign merchants used the opportunities afforded by their business contacts to interest some Irish people in Christianity.

Ireland wasn’t conquered by the Romans, but traded with them. And so, around the year 400 AD, the Roman Empire goes into decline and falls. Ireland was sort of its own Island, its own nation. Ireland’s most prominent trader was no more. But instead of Ireland falling into the same decline (like most other nations in Europe,) it had a cultural, intellectual rebirth of arts.

But How And When Exactly Ireland came into Existence?

Ireland was formed during the last glacial period, many millions of years ago, when rising sea levels caused ice to melt, separating the land from Europe and Great Britain.

Historians estimate that Ireland was first settled by humans about 10,000 years ago by Iron Age warriors known as the Celts.

The Celts had a huge influence on Ireland and to this day remain a strong and precious part of Irish culture and heritage, particularly in traditional music and art. Celtic stories and myths are still passed down through the generations and the current official language of Ireland; Gaeilge (pronounced gwale-ga) stems directly from the ancient Celtic language.

Heaped History

After the Celts, Ireland was invaded by the Vikings. After a fair amount of looting, raiding, and fighting, the Vikings began to settle and mix with Irish society, sharing their trading abilities and skilled craftsmanship. They went on to find some of Ireland’s first towns and cities, including Dublin, Wexford, and Cork. They even gave Ireland its name, a combination of the Gaelic word Eire and the Viking word land.

Ireland’s colourful history doesn’t stop there: after the Vikings, the Normans arrived, followed by Christianity, famine, battles, plantations, uprisings, and even civil war.

However, that may be, in his time in Ireland, St. Patrick changed the lives and futures of the people he had once walked among as a slave. Whatever successes the earlier missionaries such as Palladius, Ailbe, Declan, Ibar, and Ciaran had won, none advanced the causes of literacy, spirituality, and the dignity of the individual as Patrick did.

The monasteries he founded or encouraged became centres of literacy and learning, sprawling universities devoted to knowledge, which would in time serve to collect and preserve the written record of western civilization after the fall of Rome. The Roman Empire had never invaded Ireland and so the land was relatively unaffected by its fall.

In the Christian monasteries of Ireland, the great written works of the past were copied and preserved for future generations. Through his vision and mission, St. Patrick changed not only Ireland but the world – even a battalion in Mexico was named in his honour!


Graham Williamson, who was born and raised in Ireland and is an avid photographer of its landscapes, explains Ireland’s appeal with visual imagery:

“The strange light that changes so much from the west to the east, the coastline that becomes more rugged from the north to the south, the ageless beauty of this green, mountainous, flat and river divided landscape with its huge diversity and geological anomalies like The Giant’s Causeway.

Partnering with this is an undefinable, subterranean Celtic presence which somehow unites man, mythical creature and landscape in a great cauldron of rugged, untouched beauty which is full of secrets, times passed, and adventure.”

Sea and rocks formed on the shore of The Giant Causeway.
The Giant Causeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.

Ireland has many lakes, loughs (inlets), and winding rivers. Rugged mountain ranges dominate the skyline, ancient forests sprawl, and there are patchworks of green farmland as far as the eye can see. Underground, another fascinating world of limestone caves and crevices are waiting to be explored. There is a changeable and sometimes unforgiving climate, an interesting mix of old-world meeting new, and of course, about 6.4 million pairs of smiling Irish eyes.

Helping to enhance this landscape further is Ireland’s rich history. It’s easy to find ancient ruins of castles, settlements, monasteries, and places long forgotten and steeped in myth, legend, and fairy tales stretching back to the age of the Celts and beyond.

It’s a never-ending mix of opportunities for photography and travel enthusiasts, especially those who want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

The World Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s may be an Irish holiday, but cities around the world turn green to join the Irish in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. New Zealand’s festivities kick off with the Auckland Sky Tower lit green and revellers take to the street dancing in celebration. The green movement continues in Dubai where the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel shimmers green in the morning sun and also displays a shamrock in honour of The Day.

In South Africa, Table Mountain also turns green, as did Nelson Monument in Edinburgh. Theatre troupes, artists, puppets, dancers, and marching bands from all over the world join thousands of revellers in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, all part of a week’s worth of celebrations.

In San Francisco, City Hall and Coit Tower are lit green for the occasion. The Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, affectionally known as “the Armadillo” glows eerily. The Castle Tower in Moraira on the Spanish Costa Blanca is also lit up for the occasion. Cibeles Fountain brings an Irish touch to the Spanish capital of Madrid.

8567042499 dcdd437836 o Bringing millions of people together from different parts of the world, St. Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the most hotly-anticipated celebrations of the year. Originally, this religious and cultural event commemorates when St. Patrick, the most recognised patron saint of Ireland, died on March 17th. Throughout the festival’s history of more than 400 years, it has moved away from its origins and began to receive international recognition.
San Francisco City Hall turns green for St. Patrick’s Day.

A 1600-Year-Old Tale…

And despite all of what you just read (Yes, believe it or not, you just read 5000 words) there is a lot more to Ireland and Paddy’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day gives you an excuse to have whiskey in your system while the sun is up, and these days, some people could use it. As long as you remember your green threads, St. Patrick’s Day is a delightful holiday.

Don’t forget to check out other related Irish stories and blogs that might interest you: Get to Know Some of The Famous Irish Proverbs| St. Patrick Day in Northern Ireland| Digging into the Secret of Irish Pookas|

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