New Yorkers prepare to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

The 37th Annual Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade on S. Salina St. in downtown Syracuse

"It's a great event, it is one of the biggest events in the social calendar in Cork".

It is part of a 10-day Home of St Patrick Festival, and includes an additional community-led St Patrick's parade this afternoon.

Ahead of the parade, the state's political leaders were gathering for the St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in South Boston.

The Express, a popular newspaper of the time, reported that an "estimated at 20,000 the number in the procession that marched through the muddy streets".

Generations of families line the streets of Beverly every March to watch Irish dancers and listen to bagpipes. (Steven Senne/AP) Spectators wear Irish-themed hats and glasses during the parade.

This year's parade was shorter than normal due to construction on Sainte-Catherine Street.

Originally, the holiday was to honor St. Patrick who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the 5th Century. Banks, stores and businesses shut down for the national holiday.

"That the feast of our National Apostle should be duly honored throughout the length and breadth of Ireland would be tangible and striking evidence of the existence of our distinct nationality, and of the power of the national ideal to affect the national life to a considerable extent".

Elsewhere around 470 iconic landmarks and sites in 56 different countries took part in this year's "Global Greening", turning green to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

Legend holds that St. Patrick will judge the Irish on Judgement Day. However, biologists say there were never any snakes in Ireland in the first place.

Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is supposed to prevent you from getting pinched by a leprechaun.



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