Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world; especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially theChurch of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services, and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.
I stayed there for 2 days and 2 nights at my former college classmate, Nimfa Abad and my kababayan's residence, Danny and Althea. On my first night, we went to Temple Bar but the venue was packed with revellers, all in green hats and shirts. There was a long queue of people in going in to the pub and we ended up drinking at the Hard Rock Cafe with less people.
On the parade day, we went there early as 9 am to get a good spot. The parade had started at 12 noon. It was a wonderful day full of marching bands from the US. For the first time in its history, using Ireland’s commemorative era as inspiration, St. Patrick’s Festival has created a three-year theme and narrative for the Festival Parade. The thematic journey of ‘Past, Present and Future’ will be explored respectively in the periods 2014, 2015 and 2016.
This year’s Festival Parade theme, ‘Let’s Make History’, draws on the ‘Past’ and is the first step on this exciting, creative journey. In 2015 the Festival will explore the ‘Present’, and in 2016, the ‘Future’, when the Festival will pose the question, ‘who do we aspire to be in the next 100 years’? For 2014, Ireland’s leading pageant companies brought the theme to life in their own inimitable style, with music from international and Irish marching bands providing the uplifting soundtrack.