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St Patrick’s Day celebrated by parades in Ireland and beyond

St Patrick’s Day celebrated by parades in Ireland and beyond

Revellers in Ireland and beyond celebrated St Patrick's Day on Sunday with colourful parades attended by the masses.

Vibrant pictures from the likes of Dublin, London, Belfast and Chicago showed thousands of people come together on the streets and in traditional Irish pubs to celebrate the holiday.

The holiday commemorates Ireland’s patron saint and was made popular around the world by Irish immigrants, evolving into a day of festive cheer for all.

Here’s how people around the world celebrated St Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick's Day parade, in Dublin (REUTERS)
St. Patrick's Day parade, in Dublin (REUTERS)

Dublin

In Ireland’s capital, tens of thousands of people lined the streets to watch the iconic parade.

Attendees wearing shamrock-shaped sunglasses, Irish jerseys and leprechaun hats thronged the streets of Dublin ahead of the parade’s midday start.

The city was expecting as many as 500,000 people to attend as visitors travelled from as far away as Bolivia, California and China to catch a glimpse of the vibrant spectacle.

St Patrick's Day Parade - Dublin (Michael Chester/PA Wire)
St Patrick's Day Parade - Dublin (Michael Chester/PA Wire)

County Down comedian and Late Late Show presenter Patrick Kielty was this year’s grand master of the parade and described Ireland’s national day as “the biggest party in the world”.

Many attendees said they had travelled to take part in what they said was a worldwide “party”.

“It’s a big party, we’re here to have fun. People are very kind and friendly and we love the country,” Flavie Rougier from France said, who was visiting Dublin for three days with her mother Joelle and their friend Mathilde.

St Patrick's Day Parade - Belfast (David Young/PA Wire)
St Patrick's Day Parade - Belfast (David Young/PA Wire)

Belfast

In Belfast, thousands of people gathered to watch as a colourful and noisy parade made its way through the city centre.

Lord Mayor Ryan Casey led the carnival procession as it departed from outside City Hall with dancers, drummers, giant characters in costume and brightly coloured props in two.

The crowds of both young and old spectators were visibly delighted by the show which got underway at 1:30pm.

A light rain shower amid the spring sunshine failed to dampen the spirits as the Northern Ireland capital partied for the patron saint.

St Patrick's Day Parade - London (Lucy North/PA Wire)
St Patrick's Day Parade - London (Lucy North/PA Wire)

London

In London, more than 50,000 people were expected to join the annual procession of Irish marching bands, dance troupes and pageantry through the capital.

The parade started in Hyde Park Corner at noon, with a route through Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street and Whitehall, ending with live performances at Trafalgar Square.

St Patrick's Day Parade - London (Lucy North/PA Wire)
St Patrick's Day Parade - London (Lucy North/PA Wire)

Spectators were wowed by Irish marching bands and dance troupes such as Maguire O’Shea Academy of Irish Dance and The London Celtic Youth Orchestra, all to celebrate Irish culture and heritage.

Sunday’s celebrations, hosted by the Mayor of London, marked the 21st year od the annual event.

 (AP)
(AP)

Chicago

While St Patrick’s Day falls on 17 March, some parades were moved to Saturday in the US.

Ahead of Chicago‘s parade, thousands of people decked out in green with beers in hand gathered along the Chicago River to watch the local plumbers’ union boats turn the water green.

The tradition dates back to 1962 when Richard J. Daley was the mayor of Chicago, but the idea stems back from the Plumbers Local Union.

The green dye was initially used to identify how sewage was getting into the water and showed where there were leaky pipes.

Bar patrons celebrate during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City (AFP via Getty Images)
Bar patrons celebrate during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City (AFP via Getty Images)

In festive spirit, the Plumbers Local Union decided to dump 100 pounds of dye in the river for St. Patrick’s Day, and it lasted a week.

One attendee, Ryan Fox, 37, said seeing the river dyed by boat was one of his “bucket list” items.

“If there’s a city that does it better than Chicago, I’d like to see it,” he told ITV.