St Patrick's Day 2019 celebrated worldwide

Is it St Patrick's Day in Las Vegas? You bet!

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Tourism Ireland Global Greening

St Patrick’s Day celebrations are taking place across the world.

The feast of the Irish saint on 17 March is celebrated from Australia to Dubai to the United States.

More than 400 landmarks in more than 50 countries are turning the appropriate colour as part of Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative.

In Northern Ireland, parades are being held in a number of towns and cities, including Belfast, Londonderry, Armagh and Downpatrick.

There are also big annual parades in Dublin and in New York.

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Who was St Patrick?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he lived in the 5th century AD and is understood to have played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity.

While St Patrick really existed, and some of his writings survive, his value does not really come from historical details but from the inspiration of a man who returned to the country where he had been a child slave, in order to bring the message of Christ.

He is traditionally associated with the shamrock plant, which he used to explain the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

It is believed he is buried in Downpatrick, County Down.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Vardakar travelled to Washington DC for St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House last Thursday.

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As is tradition, he presented US President Donald Trump with a bowl of shamrock.

Here are some of the main St Patrick’s Day events across the island of Ireland:

Belfast

  • A carnival parade from Belfast City Hall at 12:30 GMT – traffic restrictions and diversions in place
  • Free concert at Custom House Square featuring The Vengaboys, Catherine McGrath and Ryan Sheridan, from 13.30-1600. Entry is on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • St George’s Market is offering a “real taste” of Ireland with traditional fayre and Irish music
  • Féile an Earraigh has been running from 1 March and there’s a range of events over 17 and 18 March.

Downpatrick

  • Cross-community carnival parade through the town centre from 13:00
  • Family fun at St Patrick Square, from 12:00 to 16:00, includes live music, dancing and petting zoo
  • Full programme of events in Downpatrick.

Londonderry

  • St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival parade in Derry from 14:00, starts Bishops Street car park. This year’s theme is Tir na nÓg or Land of the Youth in Irish mythology.

Armagh

  • St Patrick’s Greeting in The Shambles Yard at 12:15, involving Archbishop Eamon Martin, head of Ireland’s Catholic Church, and Archbishop Richard Clarke, Anglican Primate of All Ireland
  • Family fun afternoon in The Shambles Yard, from 13:00 to 16:00
  • A community-organised parade will assemble on the CBS all-weather pitch at Greenpark for a 14:30 kick-off. The council-run parade took place on Saturday.
  • Full programme for the council’s St Patrick’s Festival, which has been running since 8 March.

Newry

  • Cross-community carnival parade leaves the Albert Basin at 13:00.
  • Family fun on Hill Street with street performances, face painting, and arts and crafts. From 12:00 to 16:00.
  • Full programme of events in Newry.

Enniskillen

  • There’ll be festival fun from 13:30 to 15:30 at the Broadmeadow, with plenty of free activities including bouncy castles, balloon modellers and face painting
  • Wakeboarding leprechauns and St Patrick himself will make a spectacular arrival via Castle Island
  • Parade will start from the Lakeland Forum at 15:30. This year’s theme is an environmentally-friendly Go Green in 19.
  • Full programme of events in Enniskillen and Omagh.

Dublin

  • The annual parade is the centrepiece of the city’s St Patrick’s Festival, which runs from 14 to 18 March and this year’s theme is Storytelling
  • The parade starts in Parnell Square North at 12:00.
  • Full festival programme