St Patrick's Day: Ireland goes global as famous world landmarks get a 'greening'

Some countries are taking part in the annual event for the first time ever

Ireland has been busy turning 150 of the world's most famous landmarks a bright shade of green, as part of its celebrations for St Patrick’s Day.

Some of the monuments included are taking part for the first time ever in 2015, such as the Colosseum in Rome and Nelson’s Column in London.

Not everyone is impressed, with many saying the "greening" stunt and other efforts by Ireland to celebrate the event are a waste of money.

In Iceland - which is taking part for the first time - Reykjavík’s main landmarks, the Perlan glass dome, Hallgrímskirkja church and Harpa concert and conference hall, were illuminated with a green light in honor of St Patrick’s Day. The initiative is part of the "Greenification of the World" campaign,  launched by the Irish Tourism Board six years ago.

Reykjavík landmarks have joined the Colosseum in Rome, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, the Sydney Opera House and the Great Wall in China.

In Paris, the iconic Sacre Coeur basilica in Montmartre turned emerald for the occasion, and Irish pubs will be filled across the city.

According to the Irish Times, Tourism Ireland spent around  €95,000 on "greening" more than 120 buildings and monuments last year, including €8,000 for the Sydney Opera House, €3,000 for the Sphinx and Pyramids in Egypt, €2,570 for South Africa’s Table Mountain, and €2,379 for the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

In the US this year, the water in the fountains of the White House were more colourful than usual, and Denver City Hall looked very festive.

Home to more than 40 million citizens with Irish blood, St Patrick's Day is arguably a bigger event in some American cities than Ireland.

The Shard, Nelson's Column, the London Eye and the Town Hall clock in Manchester complete the UK list of landmarks going green.

For Ireland itself, a video was created by Visit Ireland and narrated by Irish actor Liam Neeson, to celebrate the annual 'greening'.