Lonely Planet Writer

200 shades of green: national monuments around the world light up for St Patrick's Day

St Patrick’s Day was celebrated across the world today, from London to New York with national monuments and iconic sights lighting up in green to mark the national day of the famous Irish saint.

Government Buildings  illiuminated in green last night for the St Patrick's festival in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Government Buildings illiuminated in green last night for the St Patrick’s festival in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire Image by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester is lit green to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester is lit green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Image by Jon Super/PA Wire

People with Irish roots and none sported green colours and practised thoroughly un-Irish phrases such as “Begorrah” and “Top o’ the mornin to ya” right across the planet. Dublin was hosting the biggest parade of all with 500,000 spectators lining the capital’s streets and events were taking place in practically every town and village in Ireland.

Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Image by Jon Super/PA Wire

From Washington DC to the Glasgow, St Patrick’s Day has been celebrated by lighting important monuments in the traditional green, as people embrace the Irish holiday.

Trinity College lit up green last night for the St Patrick's festival in Dublin.
Trinity College lit up green last night for the St Patrick’s festival in Dublin. Image by Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Coca-Cola London Eye, on London's South Bank is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
The Coca-Cola London Eye, on London’s South Bank is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Image by Gretel Ensignia/PA Wire

The Global Greening is an initiative by the Irish Tourism Board which uses the hashtag #GoGreen4PatricksDay to highlight the monuments that have gone green on social media.

Glasgow's SSE Hydro Arena and Armadillo in Scotland illuminated green as they are among more than 100 international landmarks turning green to mark St Patrick's Day.
Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena and Armadillo in Scotland illuminated green as they are among more than 100 international landmarks turning green to mark St Patrick’s Day. Image by Chris James/PA Wire

It’s estimated that close to 200 national buildings will be greening worldwide this year.

The Sydney Opera House goes green for St Patrick's Day.
The Sydney Opera House goes green for St Patrick’s Day. Image by Jean-Pierre Bratanoff-Firgoff

Paddy’s Day, as it is locally known in Ireland, whilst being a specifically Irish festival to honour the patron saint of the country, has for decades been a huge celebration across the world. In part that’s been due to the high proportion of  people of Irish descent living in the US.

Disneyland Paris goes green for St Patrick's Day.
Disneyland Paris goes green for St Patrick’s Day. Image by Sylvain CAMBON

According to data released by the OECD in 2015, Ireland currently has the highest number of nationals living abroad, higher than any other country, with one-in-six Irish people living outside Ireland.

Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Image by Gretel Ensignia/PA Wire

It’s no wonder then that everywhere seems to go big or go home for Paddy’s Day. They’re everywhere!