This weekend the capital will be putting on celebrations to remember the Emerald Isle’s patron saint – St Patrick. He was believed to have died on 17th March in the year 493, hence the celebrations at this time of year. He was brought up in Roman Britain but travelled to Ireland in the 5th Century as a young adult to convince Irish pagans that Christianity was the way forward. Have you ever wondered why the shamrock was synonymous with Ireland? Well it was St Patrick who made the shamrock famous when he used the 3 leaved-clover to describe the Holy Trinity to as many non-believers that would listen to him. I bet you didn’t know that!
If you’re in London and want to join in the craic then you really are spoilt for choice as to what to do. On Saturday Camden Market will be playing host to the London St Patricks Day Festival where you’ll find plenty of live shows and performances from music to acrobats, and a whole lot of activities to keep the kids amused too.
For those of you interested in the more historical side of the Irish, you can explore the Irish history in London on one of the many free walking tours taking place, from St Pauls Cathedral to Covent Garden.
St Patricks Film Festival London is putting on a few free (hurrah!) screenings at the Regent Street Cinema as well as at the London Film School in Covent Garden.
Make sure you save some energy for the big one though! Celebrations will come to a crescendo on the Sunday when the St Patricks Day Parade takes place. Floats representing the 32 counties of Ireland will be taking part with all sorts from Irish dancers to marching bands to the dancing leprechauns! Things kick off at Hyde Park Corner at midday and end up at Trafalgar Square, where you’ll be endlessly entertained by Irish food (champ and potato, beef and Guinness pie, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew – to name but a few) Irish music, Irish booze and Irish people!