Iconic landmarks across the world light up in green for St Patrick’s Day 2019
By Liz Farsaci
From Dublin to Dubai and Arklow to Australia, nearly 500 iconic landmarks across the globe are set to get an Irish makeover as the world is lit up in 40 shades of green.
As more than one million people gather in Dublin to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, world-famous sites in 56 countries around the world – including the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Sydney Opera House – will be illuminated in green.
Other landmarks – including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building – as well as Victoria Falls, Nation Towers in Abu Dhabi and the Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA in Japan – where Ireland will play Japan in the Rugby World Cup in September – will also be turning a lovely greenish hue throughout this festive weekend.
Lesser-known landmarks such as the ‘Mac the Moose’ statue in the city of Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Canada, as well as a leopard statue in Kenya, will also be taking part in the Global Greening, a 10-year-old initiative from Tourism Ireland.
A festive green bicycle parade will also be taking place throughout Amsterdam.
Across the pond in the United States, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is visiting Chicago as more than 400,000 people gather to see the city’s popular Charles River go glas.
In Boston, home to many Irish immigrants and their descendants, one million people are expected to attend the city’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, a beloved tradition for the past 118 years.
“Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage,” said Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.
“Our St Patrick’s programme spans Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and emerging tourism markets like China, Brazil and the Middle East.”
The global gaze on Ireland is invaluable to the Irish economy and local businesses as the tourist trade kicks off this year, he said.
“We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this weekend and the saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media, is an invaluable boost for our overall 2019 tourism,” said Mr Gibbons.
But along with the greening, another Paddy’s Day tradition – for those living in Ireland, anyway – is the inclement weather.
With more than 500,000 expected to attend the Dublin parade alone, festival goers throughout the country are advised to wrap up warmly as temperatures are set to remain cold.
In the capital, the Céilí Mór scheduled to take place today at the St Patrick’s Festival Village in Merrion Square was rescheduled to Monday afternoon due to high winds.
And like last year, snow flurries could put a damper on the outdoor parades and events throughout the country.
Festival goers are advised to dress for the cold as Olympic athlete Rob Heffernan leads the Cork city parade on Sunday afternoon, while paralympian Eoghan Clifford and athlete Shane Curran kick off the Galway parade, beginning at NUIG on Sunday morning.