Painting London Green

St Patrick’s Day – celebrating national days in style.

There is never a dull moment in London!  I do love this city, especially living in leafy Notting Hill.  Every month seems to bring a different event or another public holiday and I am taking the opportunity to celebrate as many as possible.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day this week. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland but it’s thought he was born in either England, Wales or Scotland before he was captured and taken over to Ireland.  Eventually he became a Christian priest and spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across Ireland.  Seems my home country of the USA is where St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated back in the 1700s.  We turn everything green for the day from food to rivers; but this year I am looking forward to painting the town green in London!

There are many Irish people living in London and it is estimated as many as six million people living in the UK have at least one Irish grandparent – I’m sure many of those will be out in force for the festivities!  I don’t think, though, you need to be Irish to enjoy the celebrations.

Although St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday the 17th of March, the main St Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday March 19.  The procession will make its way down to Trafalgar Square where there is a festival.   Sounds like one big party and I will enjoy being Irish for a day.

I did a little research and seems there are Patron Saint Days to represent all parts of the UK – Burns Night for the Scottish, St. David’s Day for the Welsh and St. George’s Day for England.  I will enjoy finding out more about these and celebrating each as they come along.

St. Patrick’s Day has made me think more about the many National Days and holidays celebrated all over London and the UK by the melting pot of people who make up the population.  Looking at Vincent House alone and the many residents who come from all over the world, I think we could be celebrating different National Days for a whole month!  In the US, we celebrate the Fourth of July as our National Day and there are always lots of picnics and fireworks.  I am hoping to find somewhere lively to celebrate that this July.  I need to find out more about what the National Days are for my fellow residents and how they celebrate. What is your National Day?

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