St. Patrick's Day 2014 in the USA

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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You think of Ireland and you can only imagine the greenery, the clover and St. Patrick, emblems that on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th, blend inextricably to create a day of celebrations under the banner of Irish pride.

In America, this festival is particularly felt and gives life to truly folkloristic parades and celebrations: nowadays, parades are not only held in the cities where the Irish communities are more numerous, but a little everywhere, demonstrating that Paddy's Day is a day of celebration that is shared and enjoyed across the nation.

And it could not be otherwise, given that it was in the USA that the anniversary was born and consolidated, despite the logic that the party would like to be born in Ireland.

Born from the nationalist spirit of the Irish emigrants, the party was already widespread in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the first parade dates back to 1762, in New York.

On St. Patrick's Day, parades and celebrating events are held in numerous American cities to Irish pride, paying homage to one of the many peoples who contributed to the formation of the nation.

On this day, the custom dictates that you wear clothing or hats of green and that a clover (in the buttonhole or in the pocket). Missing the parade even thinking about it and for lunch or dinner a stop in the indigenous places is not to be missed.

Also for this year the folkloristic parades will cheer up the main US cities: in chronological order, the review opens the city of Chicago which has always organized the celebrations on the Saturday before March 17, this year on 15.

From 12, along the Columbus Dr., from Balbo and Columbus to Buckingam Fontain, bands and figures on traditional Irish music will parade.

Not only the city and the celebrators will be tinged with green, but also the ones waters of the Chicago River: from 10 on Saturday 15, a special dye will be released into the river, whose waters will take on the suggestive green color. The phenomenon will be excellently visible on the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge and on the west side of the Columbus bridge, as well as from the banks between the two bridges. The custom is established over time and, the organizers assure, the eco-compatibility of the chemical formula of the dye is guaranteed, which remains absolutely secret.

A Boston, the appointment will be for Sunday 16 March: the parade, considered the number 2 in the USA, celebrates St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland and the city. From 13pm, in front of about 600.000 expected spectators, the parade will begin which will invade the streets of South Boston with greenery and clover, from West Broadway to Dorchester Avenue.

The largest and most impressive parade could only be held in the Big Apple: here the appointment of the 253th edition will be for 11 on 17 March, on the 5th Avenue, from 44th to 79th Street. The parade is a real tribute to the origins and traditions and, therefore, cars and wagons are absolutely banned: the bands and majorettes, for about 150.000-200.000 participants, will parade in front of over two million spectators. With these numbers, the title of the most sumptuous and largest parade in the world is certainly not undeserved.

As for us, lovers of the USA, we should certainly not be surprised: only a multicultural and open country like this one manages to host the greatest folkloristic events every time, paying homage to the traditions and cultures of the four corners of the planet.

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