While St Patrick’s Day is known as a day to celebrate the rich Irish culture, food and art, most Italians will agree that a bowl of Pasta Fagioli belongs on the menu alongside that corned beef and cabbage. While that might prompt a group of green-clad Irish revelers to throw their Shillelaghs, Italians also deserve a part in it.
Some folks might not be aware of it, but the man of the hour – Saint Patrick, was the son of an England-based Roman diplomat. The saint’s Italian roots encourage thousands to enjoy the holiday without missing it, with everyone trying to gift their loved ones into drinking and eating more. However, Italians are celebrating St Patrick’s Day in an incredible style this year despite the challenges of a dark year that outlawed parades for obvious reasons.
Unlike in the past years, where St Patrick parades are hosted in major cities worldwide, the event will take place under lockdown restrictions for the second time in a row in Italy and Ireland. Historically, this annual event welcomes about half a million people in Dublin’s streets to enjoy various parades around the city. While there aren’t usually many popular parades celebrating St Patrick’s day in Italy, many Irish-Italians hold parties to honour the festivities. However, public parties are no longer possible this year for obvious reasons.
Infographic taken from Betway’s blog
This year, the Italians celebrate St Patrick’s day by colouring iconic landmarks green, which is the official colour of the day. Green is chosen for St Patrick’s Day celebrations because it’s believed to make you invisible to leprechauns, known to pinch humans when they see them. That’s why the Italians have also chosen to green 42 landmarks in Saint Patrick’s honour in 2021. These landmarks included in the Global Greening 2021 initiative stretch from Rome’s Trajan Column to Pisa’s Leaning Tower.
A Little about the Global Greening Initiative
Since St Patrick’s Day was officially added to the calendar in the 17th century, lots of people celebrate the festivities every year without missing it. The Global Greening Initiative is among the many organizations that celebrate Ireland’s patron saint by turning iconic buildings green. The initiative will mark its 12th edition this year by turning 440 sites green all over the world.
According to Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, this year’s event will bring a message of hope, closeness and friendship to over 70 million people of Irish origin. As such, the initiative plans to turn all kinds of sites green, including Sydney’s Opera House, South America’s top building and Kenya’s Sekenani Gate in Maasai Mara National Reserve, among others.
Italian Landmarks Going Green
There won’t be any St Patrick’s Day mass in Rome on 17th March for obvious reasons. The usual social parties are also cancelled, and almost every Irish pub in Milan and Rome will be closed. However, that doesn’t mean that St Patrick’s festivities are off in Italy.
This year, Italians can expect a bumper global greening campaign on St Patrick’s night, with a total of 42 monuments and sites illuminated with green lights. This annual campaign organized by Tourism Ireland plans to turn the Fontanone and Trajan’s Column green alongside other landmarks. That includes Villa Spada, Ireland’s embassy in Italy located at Janiculum Hill.
Other iconic landmarks going green this St Patrick’s day include Milan’s Unicredit Tower, the James Joyce statue set in Trieste, Pica’s leaning tower and Italy’s 2022 culture capital, Procidas. The going green initiative will be followed by a cook-along experience featuring Ireland’s celebrity Chef, Catherine Fulvio. Catherine offers you the taste of authentic Irish farmhouse tea.
The Irish Film Fiesta will also be hosting a new international streaming service starting from 17th – 22nd March to celebrate St Patrick. This will be the only Italian movie festival dedicated to showcasing Irish culture and cinema. You can find details on the Irish film festival online.
According to Ireland’s ambassador Colm Floinn, the embassy is delighted that Italy will have an outstanding record of greenings across the country. This illumination of public monuments is important for this year’s St Patrick’s day celebrations, considering that it’s not possible to hold masses, parades other public gatherings. The greening also shows the strong relationship and solidarity between Italy and Ireland.
With St Patrick being of Italian descent, this Irish holiday is celebrated by thousands of people in Italy in various ways. Under normal conditions, most Italians mark the day by attending mass and various parades organized throughout the country. However, 2021 will take a very different turn, but that doesn’t mean that the Italians are giving up on the festivities.
Most people will celebrate the day indoors, which explains why Tourism Ireland is hoping to show solidarity by greening different landmarks countrywide. However, most Italians will still enjoy the normal beer partying and food feasting from their homes’ comfort while enjoying various virtual shows.