Ireland shrugs off austerity for St. Patrick’s Day
Parades and festivals were being held throughout Ireland on Saturday as the debt-ridden country shrugged off economic austerity measures for the traditional Saint Patrick’s Day party.
The centrepiece of the celebrations, the Dublin parade and its marching bands, attracts about half a million people onto the capital’s streets, about 120,000 of them from abroad.
Some 60 million people worldwide claim Irish heritage and the feast day for Ireland’s patron saint has become one of the world’s most recognised national holidays.
There are parades around the globe, based on “craic”, or fun, music, green-coloured beer and fancy dress echoing the Emerald Isle’s favourite mythical creature — leprechauns.