Happy St Patrick's Day!

Maya Driver

It's the time of year when many of us will celebrate our Irish ancestry, no matter how remote.

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These days, St. Patrick's Day has become synonymous with the wearing of large floppy green hats and pints of stout. Pubs up and down the land will roll out the green, white and orange bunting in order to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.

However, March the 17th isn't just about harps, shamrocks and Irish stew. The Irish have been celebrating this day for over a thousand years. Traditionally, families would attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. The Lenten restrictions would be lifted, allowing people to eat, drink and dance.

The biggest St Patrick's Day parade is held in New York where over 150,000 people take part. Similar celebrations are held across America in cities like Boston and Chicago, where the large Irish populations have turned the St Patricks day parade into a homage to their mother country.

In New York, where the first ever parade was held, around three million people take to the streets and line the route. There are similar parades in Canada, Russia and Australia. Of course, some of the biggest celebrations are held in Ireland itself where March the 17th is a national holiday. Dublin is host to a three-day event with over a million people taking part in a three-day festival of food, dance and outdoor festivals.

How will you be celebrating? Leave a comment and let us know...