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Feast Day in Ireland

For hundreds of years in Ireland, March 17 has marked a welcome break from the fasting season of Lent. Lenten restrictions on eating meat were eased on St. Patrick's Day, and the Irish broke out the bacon and cabbage in celebration, accompanied by drinking and dancing.

In contrast to today's revelry, the traditional way St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in Ireland can be termed quiet and religious. It wasn't until the 1970s that pubs were even allowed to open for business on the holiday. In 1995, the Irish tourism authorities began a campaign to promote Ireland through the March 17 nationwide celebrations. Due to their successful marketing efforts, nearly a million people attend Dublin's week-long St. Patrick's Festival, which offers everything from parades and fireworks to concerts and staged plays.

Parades and Wearing O' the Green

Wearing of the Green is widespread in Ireland on March 17, which finds many Irish people pinning shamrocks to their shirts or hats. Over the years, it has been popular for girls to wear green hair ribbons, and some children wear badges colored green, white and orange.

The majority of cities and towns all across Ireland put on St. Patrick's Day parades, not just Dublin. In fact, parades take place all over the world, from Paris and Singapore to Rio de Janeiro and Moscow. Outside of Ireland, the largest parades are typically the ones held in New York City and Birmingham, England.



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