St Patrick's Day celebrations across the world - in pictures

The Chicago River is currently running green

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The Independent Online

From Dublin to Tokyo, streets across the world have filled with revellers dressed in green over the past few days, as people gather to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

The occasion is named after the missionary who introduced Christianity to Ireland, who is believed to have died on 17 March. The day has been a saint’s feast day since 1631.

In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, St Patrick's Day is a public holiday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to watch the traditional parade in the Irish capital of Dublin at midday today.

But the rest of the world can’t resist getting involved with celebrations, and parades and parties are held across the globe.

This year, for the first time in the 114-year history of Boston parade, the US city allowed gay rights activists march openly, after organisers lifted a controversial ban. The landscape doesn’t escape from the festivities either, as over 100 monuments, including the Christ the Redeemer statue towering over the Brazilian city of Rio de Janiero, are cast in green light, and waterways, such as the Chicago River, are dyed an emerald colour.