17 March, 2017
Sydney turns green from Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th March for Sydney St Patrick's Day Festivities
In Australia, St Patrick's Day celebrations have taken place on 17 March since 1810, when the then Governor, Lachlan Macquarie, declared the date an official day of celebration for the Irish and those of Irish heritage.
Many Australians come together on St Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish culture and remember St Patrick’s life and achievements. Some businesses and organizations hold St Patrick’s Day breakfasts and lunches where lucky door prizes are given and Irish food and drinks are served. Many pubs, particularly Irish pubs, hold St Patrick’s Day parties in the evenings, where local bands play Irish music and green drinks are served.
St Patrick Day parades are held in cities such as Sydney and Brisbane. These parades feature people clad in traditional Irish costumes or dressed in green, as well and floats displaying the Irish flag. Some people dress as leprechauns while others wear green wigs. Many Irish associations and historical societies hold events that give people the chance to learn about the history of Irish immigration and settlement in Australia.
St Patrick’s Day is not a public holiday in Australia but it is a popular event so many restaurants and pubs, particularly those with an Irish theme, are busy on the day. Parking and traffic may be temporarily affected by St Patrick’s Day parades, particularly along the main streets in some cities and towns.
Many Australians remember the Irish settlement and culture on St Patrick’s Day. The Irish were among the first Europeans to settle in Australia. They comprised a portion of the convict settlement population in the late 1700s. More than 300,000 other Irish settlers (not convicts) migrated to Australia between 1840 and 1914. Many Irish immigrants came to Australia to escape famine in their homeland. About 30 percent of Australians are believed to have some Irish ancestry today.
One way of preserving Irish traditions and customs in Australia is celebrating St Patrick’s Day each year. St Patrick is one of Ireland’s patron saints. He died on March 17 in or around the year 493. He worked as a missionary in Ireland and it is believed that he banished “snakes” from the country although the term may have referred to druids or pagan worshippers.
Many people wear the color green on St Patrick’s Day. They may also wear a symbol of Ireland, such as a brooch in the shape of a four-leaf clover or a harp. Images of leprechauns or a pot of gold are seen in promotional material for St Patrick’s Day. The Irish flag and balloons in flag’s colors (green, white and orange) are also visible during events, activities and in promotions on the day.
For More information on the latest news on the parade and the events log on to: http://www.stpatricksday.org.au/