ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE 2007 – DUBLIN
Image by infomatique
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by many of non-Irish descent (usually in the U.S. and Ireland), hence the phrase, "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day." Celebrations are generally themed around all things green and Irish; both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink, and attending parades.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade. The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York City and it is watched by 2 million spectators. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was first held in Boston in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society. New York’s celebration began on 17 March 1766 when Irish soldiers marched through the city. Ireland’s cities all hold their own parades and festivals. These cities include Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford. Parades also take place in other Irish towns and villages.
Other large parades include those in Savannah, Georgia (the second largest in the United States and largest per capita), Dallas, Cleveland, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Coatbridge, Montreal (the longest continually running St. Patrick’s Day parade, celebrating its 183rd consecutive parade in 2007), Boston, Houston, Chicago, Cincinnati,Kansas City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Denver, St. Paul, Sacramento, San Francisco, Scranton, Butte, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver, Syracuse, and throughout much of the Western world. The parade held in Sydney, Australia is recorded as being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
As well as being a celebration of Irish culture, Saint Patrick’s Day is a Christian festival celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and some other denominations. The day always falls in the season of Lent. In church calendars (though rarely in secular ones) Saint Patrick’s Day is moved to the following Monday when it falls on a Sunday. It is traditional for those observing a lenten fast to break it for the duration of Saint Patrick’s Day whenever March 17 falls on a Friday.
In many parts of North America, Britain, and Australia expatriate Irish, those of Irish descent, and ever-growing crowds of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves "Irish for a day" also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, usually by drinking larger amounts of alcoholic beverages (lager dyed green, Irish beer and stout, such as Murphys, Smithwicks, Harp or Guinness, or Irish whiskey, Irish cider, Irish coffee, or Baileys Irish Cream) than they probably would normally, and by wearing at least one article of green-coloured clothing. The eating of Irish soda bread (which is sold in supermarkets for the occasion, but not sold during the rest of the year except in specialty stores) is also common. A recent American twist on the holiday reflecting its growing popularity among the non-Irish is the making and selling of green bagels on and near the day.
2007 will mark the first annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Despite Glasgow having a large Irish community, a parade was never thought feasible due to potential sectarian issues. Hopes are, however, that this will no longer be the case and the event will be celebrated