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.
Despite the lack of social festivities, the world is still bathed in green this week, thanks to Tourism Ireland’s 2020 Global Greening initiative.
As part of the initiative, hundreds of iconic landmarks and sites in over 50 countries are set to go green this week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
"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.”
You can follow Tourism Ireland's Twitter feed here and visit its website here.
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