St. Patrick's Day celebrations are upon us. In England:
Large crowds turned out to celebrate St Patrick's Day yesterday with festivals in cities across the UK.
London's annual parade saw bands, floats and stilt walkers make their way past some of the capital's most famous landmarks in front of tens of thousands of onlookers. There was also a festival of Irish music and dance in Trafalgar Square. St Patrick's Day officially falls today but many people decided to mark the event at the weekend.
In Birmingham crowds gathered to watch what organisers say is the world's third largest St Patrick's Day parade, behind Dublin and New York, with 60 floats making their way through the city. Eight bands, including two from Ireland, played at the parade, part of a 10-day festival celebrating Irish culture.
The 21st annual Toronto St. Patrick's Day parade was a resounding success as 300,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of a lucky leprechaun.
Among them was 90-year-old Anne McNamara who in 21 years, has never missed a St. Patrick's Day parade. This year's event seemed to be the biggest one yet.
"Now this is a lovely day but we've come here on very bad days," she said about the warm temperatures. "It's always been fun."
In the United Arab Emirates and Dubai:
ST PATRICK'S DAY weekend is upon us! Therefore it's time to put on anything green, get your story straight about those highly questionable family ties to the Emerald Isle and get in the mood for a party the whole world will be joining. This annual tribute to the patron saint of Ireland will ensure merriment is had from New York to New Zealand. The Irish don't do things by halves and neither do the region's party planners by the look of it, which is apparent when you see the number of events on offer in the UAE.
St Patrick's Day was originally a religious holiday and a feast day, celebrated by the Irish Roman Catholic Church. As time passed and Irish migration grew, the holiday was exported to different parts of the globe. The party atmosphere remained but gradually it became more about celebrating all things Irish rather than anything religious. Today St Patrick's is synonymous with drinking Guinness, eating Irish stew, listening to folk music and having a good old-fashioned knees-up.
Even in Ireland:
Gort stole a march on much of the country yesterday by holding its St Patrick's parade a day early.
Hometown hero Sylvie Linnane kicked off the celebrations in the West by heading up the parade.
Sylvie, a legend in Galway hurling, with three All Ireland medals to his credit, was honoured by being named grand marshal of the festivities.
Gort held their parade a day ahead of schedule and the novelty effect was rewarded with a big turnout on a bright but chilly day in South Galway.
And in Chicago they're dyein' to be Irish: