From Paris to China, landmarks go green to mark St. Patrick's Day

The world turned green last night (March 17) when global landmarks joined in a massive light show to mark St. Patrick's Day.

The initiative began in 2010 with just the Sydney Opera House and Auckland's Sky Tower going green. Supported by Tourism Ireland's Go Green campaign, the number of participants swelled to nearly 200 today.

Apart from classic favourites like Rome's Colosseum and Rio di Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, this year's new joiners include World Trade Centre (Ground Zero) in New York and Roue de Paris in France.

Some of them got a little too creative, even dyeing the Chicago River and the fountain outside the White House, green.

St. Patrick's Day, otherwise known to Christians as the Feast of Saint Patrick, is typically held on March 17 to honour the death of Ireland's patron saint.

The day also commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. However, the holiday has evolved beyond the church to carry a larger cultural significance in modern times.

Since restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted for the day during the Christian Lenten period, celebrants consume alcohol by the barrels - popularising the country's iconic stout, Guinness.

I mean, who can resist that pint of creamy goodness?

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debwong@sph.com.sg