March 17 is normally a day for celebrating Ireland's feast day, St Patrick's Day, but the global challenges of COVID-19 have caused the cancellation of normal celebrations and parades around the world.

A green buffalo statue in Nairobi
Nyati the Buffalo statue in Nairobi © Tourism Ireland

Despite the lack of social festivities, the world is still bathed in green this week, thanks to Tourism Ireland’s 2020 Global Greening initiative.

The Arabian Desert in Dubai
The Arabian Desert in Dubai © Tourism Ireland

As part of the initiative, hundreds of iconic landmarks and sites in over 50 countries are set to go green this week.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol © Tourism Ireland

From Brussels to Buenos Aires and from Sydney to San Francisco, a host of buildings and sites around the world are turning a shade of green to mark Ireland's national feast day.

The Cosmo Clock in Japan.
The Cosmo Clock 21 ferris wheel in Yokohama, Japan © Tourism Ireland

Madison Square Garden in New York, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, Caerphilly Castle in Wales and even the Smurf Statue in Brussels are joining the initiative for the first time in 2020.

The Gate of the Orient in Suzhou, China
The Gate of the Orient in Suzhou, China © Tourism Ireland

This is helping to bring some positivity and hope to over 70 million people around the world who claim links to the island of Ireland.

The Skywheel of Tallinn, Estonia
The Skywheel of Tallinn, Estonia © Tourism Ireland

Other sites and buildings taking part for the first time include City Hall in Bangkok, Palais du Peuple in Djibouti, the National Theatre in London and the Palace Bridge in St Petersburg.

 Junker airplane in Bremen Airport, Germany
Junker airplane in Bremen Airport, Germany © Tourism Ireland

They are joined by some old favourites that have gone green in previous years, including the London Eye, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Niagara Falls in Canada, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and the Chain Bridge in Budapest.

The Church Stone Shelter in the nature reserve of Kintulammi, Tampere
The Church Stone Shelter in Tampere, Finland © Tourism Ireland

The good news is that we can gaze on these colourful outdoor tributes as a reminder of the beautiful world that awaits us when we are safely through this crisis.

Caerphilly Castle in South Wales.jpg
Caerphilly Castle in south Wales © Tourism Ireland

It all began ten years ago, when Tourism Ireland approached authorities in Australia, to ask if they’d consider lighting the Sydney Opera House green on St Patrick’s Day.

National Museum of Qatar.jpg
National Museum of Qatar © Tourism Ireland

They agreed and it was a significant gesture from Australia, and one that has since been extended by many countries around the globe in honour of Ireland's patron saint.

The National Theatre in London
The National Theatre in London © Tourism Ireland

“We are deeply grateful to Ireland supporters across the world who, despite unprecedented challenges, are marking St Patrick’s Day and remembering Ireland in a very positive light," says Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

The Smurf Statue in Brussels.jpg
The Smurf statue in Brussels © Tourism Ireland

"We hope our Global Greening will bring a little positivity and hope to people everywhere and remind them that, if we all do the right thing now by following advice of our medical experts, this crisis will pass.”

Barahat Msheireb in Doha, Qatar
Barahat Msheireb in Doha, Qatar © Tourism Ireland

You can follow Tourism Ireland's Twitter feed here and visit its website here.

Arch of Hadrian in Athens. Greece
Arch of Hadrian in Athens, Greece

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