St Patrick’s Day is this Friday and is one of the biggest celebrations in the world, with expats from the US to Britain and Hong Kong celebrating Irish culture on 17th March. It was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. It celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, the arrival of Christianity and Irish culture.

Did you know?

Although the colour green is normally associated with Ireland and St Patrick’s Day, blue was considered symbolic of the country for many years. The Irish Presidential Standard remains blue to this day.

St Patrick’s Day folklore states the patron Saint Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, experts states this tale was invented much later.

Where are the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebrations?

Dublin hosts the largest parade in Ireland, with more than 500,000 people expected to be present at this year’s event. Thousands of people also attend St Patrick’s Day parades across Northern Ireland every year, with the biggest celebrations held in Belfast.

But it’s not just people in Ireland that celebrate St Patrick’s Day. There are around 34.5 million Americans who list their heritage as either primarily or partially Irish, and one of the biggest celebrations takes place in New York City – where there is a large Irish-born population. The very first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York in the 1760s. In Chicago, they even dye the river green to mark the day!

In the southern hemisphere, one of the largest celebrations takes place in Sydney, Australia. In 2010, the Sydney Opera House turned green to mark the 200th anniversary of St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Back in London, the St Patrick’s Day Parade is marked on 19th March with marching bands, dancers and floats. It makes its way down Piccadilly from 12pm towards Whitehall.

What’s on in Nottingham?

Nottingham this year will see the 18th annual parade, the first having been in the year 2000. The parade will assemble at 11.30am from Pelham Street and local schools, Irish groups and other members of the Irish community will be marching through to the Old Market Square. From Irish dancing and music, to Irish stew and Guinness, you’ll find a whole host of entertainment and stalls to enjoy at Nottingham’s Market Square. Check out the schedule of entertainment here.

When the afternoon’s entertainment finishes, the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Continue the celebrations into the night at many of the bars, clubs and students’ unions that will be holding Irish-themed events over the weekend. Students can get dressed up, wear something green and party at The Point – Clifton Students Union. They’re holding a St. Paddy’s Special, where tickets and drinks start at just £1.50!

Alternatively, you can venture into the city and join in the fun at Nottingham’s biggest bar crawl for St. Patrick’s Day. For only £10 a ticket online, you’ll gain entry into three bars and a nightclub – with a drink at each venue included. And if that wasn’t enough to get you in the spirit of things, you’ll also receive a free St. Patrick’s Day goodie bag with hats, props, balloons and other accessories.

And don’t forget, on Saturday 18th March Ireland take on England in the final match of the 6 Nations rugby tournament – with kick-off at 5pm. So, grab your jerseys and show your support for Ireland!

If you would like to live in a place close to all of the city’s events and attractions, stay with us during your studies at Lace Market Studios – rooms available for September 2017. To find out how you can join our thriving student community at Lace Market Studios please contact us today on +44 (0)1158 240 590.