St Patrick’s Day celebrations have been taking place around the world this week. Dublin’s famous St Patrick’s Parade often features a band from around the world.
It is a celebration of Irish history and culture and is a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The day is famous around the world for people wearing shamrocks, dressing up as a bearded leprechauns, and wearing all green. This day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. T
he day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and by extension celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Let’s see how St Patrick’s Day was celebrated this year in the states of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The city is hosting a 10-day festival (10-19 March) filled with concerts, traditional music sessions, dances, workshops, and tours, as well as the annual parade through the city. Tickets were free and Belfast City Council has advised that all places have been allocated.
The main parade begins at City Hall at 13:30 GMT and will travel in a loop along Chichester Street, Victoria Street, High Street, Castle Place, and Donegall Place, before returning to its starting point.
The theme for this year’s event is voices of Belfast and is billed to “celebrate Belfast’s music heritage from pop to punk and traditional to disco”.
The parade is staged by the arts organization Beat Carnival, which is also intending to use the event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
It has invited people who were born around the time of the 1998 deal – those aged 24, 25, and 26 – to walk with them in the parade and share their visions and hopes for the future of the city.
Derry City and Strabane Council said it expects “tens of thousands” of people to throng Derry’s streets on Friday for its St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Traditional Irish musicians will take to the stage at Guildhall Square from 13:00 GMT while, at the nearby Peace Garden, children will be entertained by a drama performance of A Tale of Fairies.
The parade begins at Bishop Street and travels to the Diamond, Shipquay Street, and along Queen’s Quay before ending at Strand Road car park.
The theme is recycling and renewal and the cavalcade will be staged by North West Carnival Initiative.
The mayor will also host a 24-hour charity buskathon in aid of homelessness.
There will be live music and street entertainers in Hill Street from noon on St Patrick’s Day and free craft workshops for children in Bagenal’s Castle.
The parade, compered by broadcaster Julian Simmons, begins at the Albert Basin at 13:00 GMT and proceeds along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island to Kildare Street beside the city hall.
McClelland Park, off Edward Street, will be transformed into Newry’s Family Festival Village for the day and will host family activities for a range of age groups.
The purported resting place of St Patrick goes all out every year to honor Ireland’s patron saint and this year is no different.
The celebrations begin at noon in the aptly named St Patrick’s Square, with live music and free children’s activities including face painting, balloon modeling, and arts and crafts.
The parade begins at Ardglass Road at 13:30 GMT and the route takes Edward Street, John Street, Irish Street, and Market Street before finishing up at Rathkeltair car park. Down County Museum and Down Arts Centre are also hosting St Patrick’s Day-themed events from 11:00 GMT, including free arts and crafts workshops, live music, and dance.
Bouncy castles, balloon modeling, and face painting are among the free children’s activities on offer at Broadmeadow in Enniskillen from 13:30 to 15:30 GMT.
The County Fermanagh island town is also staging plenty of water-based entertainment in Lough Erne, including the return of its popular wakeboarding leprechauns.
Highland and Irish dancers will take to the stage on the Diamond from 13:30, followed by live music.
The main parade begins at the Lakeland Forum at 15:30 GMT.
The theme of this year’s parade is back to the future and will feature both vintage and futuristic vehicles as well as a guest appearance by “T-rex the interactive dinosaur”.
For those looking for a more spiritual offering, Armagh prides itself as the place where Patrick began his Christian mission, and the cathedral city is starting its commemorations early.
On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, the leaders of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Church of Ireland will lead a torchlit vigil walk between their two cathedrals.
The event aims to be a “symbolic reflection of St Patrick’s journey to unite through Christianity” and begins at 21:00 GMT at the Church of Ireland Cathedral.
A free concert featuring Celtic trad rock band More Power to Your Elbow and flutist Rioghnach Connolly takes place in the Shambles Yard from 17:30 GMT on Thursday.
Thousands of pilgrims climb the County Antrim peak every 17 March in honor of St Patrick, who is believed to have worked as a shepherd on Slemish as an enslaved teenager.
The hike to the summit and back is just short of one mile (1.5km) in total and takes approximately one hour in good weather, according to the Mid and East Antrim Council.
It has organized live music and children’s activities at the site but advises suitable footwear and waterproof clothing for anyone attempting the climb.
Meanwhile, in the Republic of Ireland, organizers expect half a million people to line the streets of the Irish capital for a parade that begins at Parnell Square at noon on Friday.
Marchers will proceed along O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge, past Trinity College, up Dame Street, past Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedral, finishing at Kevin Street.
The guest of honor will be Irish-American actor Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing in Dallas.
The parade will be led by the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team.