In pictures: millions celebrate St Patrick's Day around the world

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Major cities around the globe also paid tribute to the nation's patron saint

A giant Irish-knit jumper and the world's biggest raggy doll were among the spectacular sights and sounds at the annual St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin.

Click HERE or on 'View Gallery' above to view Dublin and world turns green images

Around half a million revellers formed a sea of green, white and orange as they lined the streets of Ireland's capital city for the world-famous event.

North of the border, Belfast staged its own carnival and parade through the city centre, with street performers and an open-air music concert.

But the emerald isle was not the only place where the Guinness was flowing and the craic was mighty.

With an Irish diaspora of 70 million worldwide, major cities around the globe also paid tribute to the nation's patron saint.

Marching bands and pageants kept thousands on their toes in central Dublin as they marked the year of The Gathering - Ireland's 12 months of homecoming celebrations.

Floats, performance artists, dancers and acrobats portrayed what it means to be Irish.

A giant door and roaring fireplace symbolised the return of family abroad, while the inflatable woolly jumper was wheeled down the city's main thoroughfare of O'Connell Street to offer up hugs to all.

A seven metre raggy doll and oversized toys like robots and teddy bears delighted thousands of excited children, with leprechaun hats and painted faces.

Renditions of traditional songs like Danny Boy rang out as brass, pipe and drum bands proceeded through the centre of the city.

Twelve bands travelled from the US to take part in the Dublin parade, including the Fire Department of the City of New York, which flew in early this morning.

They joined 40 members from the French Navy who paraded through the streets, along with the nation's own Garda Band and the National Ambulance Service of Ireland's pipe and drum band.

Other St Patrick's Day parades were held across the island - including in Cork and Limerick, and Downpatrick and Londonderry in the north.

Dublin Airport said it expected around 225,000 passengers to pass through its gates over the holiday weekend - an increase of 6% from the same time last year.

Meanwhile, Failte Ireland reported a hike in accommodation bookings, with the majority of Dublin's most popular hotels fully booked.

Many of them reported a 10% year-on-year hike in business.

Shaun Quinn, Failte Ireland chief executive, said: "This St Patrick's Day bounce bodes well for our expectations for The Gathering this year and hopefully will be the start of a pattern this season.

"With an enhanced St Patrick's festival, this was our biggest March tourism push to date and the performance of hotels in the city really confirms that events do drive business in Dublin."

Hundreds of thousands of people globally are joining in the St Patrick's Day festivities, with some of the world's most famous sights lit up green to mark the occasion.

The Pyramids of Egypt and Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue will be bathed in emerald throughout the day.

Other monuments and natural wonders to go green include the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, New York's Empire State Building and Berlin's TV Tower.

Click HERE or on 'View Gallery' above to view Dublin and world turns green images

PA

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution