March 17, 2015
Celebrating St.Patrick’s Day from Coast to Coast
The grass in Toronto may not yet be green, but something else is turning the city a shade of emerald. What is it? St. Patrick’s Day. Though the feast also has a somber side and church masses are held to commemorate it, it is better known for cheerful parades, the sound of bagpipe music, as well as copious amounts of food and drink to celebrate Irish culture.
Aside from sporting clothing in an array of green, people and regions also participate in other traditions. Here is how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated across Canada, from coast to coast:
St.John`s: In the Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador, St.Patrick`s Day is an official public holiday!
Toronto: For twenty-eight years, Toronto has been festively marking the holiday with a parade that weaves through the streets of the downtown core. It brings together residents from across the GTA and is held on the Sunday before St.Patrick’s Day.
Montreal: Much like Toronto, Montreal also has a parade. It is organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal and has been taking place since 1823 (that adds up to 192 years)!
Calgary: Calgary has a different kind of parade –not one with marching bands and colorfully decorated floats. Instead, runners dressed in costumes dash through the city in what is know as the Original St. Patrick’s Day Race, organized by the Calgary Roadrunners .
Vancouver: As its neighbours to the West, Vancouver also has a parade that first took place eleven years ago!
For more information on the history of St.Patrick`s Day, click here.