With the pandemic still rampant in most of Europe, traditional events and parades were moved online in order to prevent 2021’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations from spreading COVID-19.
This marks the second year in a row that the Irish – and most of the world – suspended their normal celebrations of draught Guinness and green illuminations, and instead booted up their computers to celebrate in a more confined fashion.
And being perhaps the most globalised national day in the world, it really is most of the world that celebrates St Patrick’s Day. As seen in the infographic below, this is how the 17th of March is usually celebrated according to Betway’s Insider blog; from Mumbai to Buenos Aires to Chicago, streets and rivers turn green and Irish history is celebrated.
Undoubtedly, the only silver lining of online events for a lockdown celebration is that the world can experience the same events together, instead of hosting localised celebrations. We saw around 670 sites in 66 different countries take part in Ireland’s Global Greening initiative in 2021, proving the appetite for celebration was still there despite the restrictions.
This was a powerful moment that transcended the national barriers we have seen so much of throughout the pandemic, proving its cultural importance. More than 100 virtual events took place on the SPF TV programme, all of which were free. Comedy, Irish food history, walking tours, poetry, and parades were some of the virtual events that took place.
This was a powerful moment that transcended the national barriers we have seen so much of throughout the pandemic
Irish broadcaster RTE’s virtual parade, which saw children pushing their toys and cars around gardens as opposed to high street gatherings, was applauded for its efforts to put on a spectacular virtual show - lifting spirits and making the best out of the situation. We also saw high viewing figures of more than 566,000 during the St Patrick’s Day Late Late Show, hosted by Ryan Tubridy.