(CNN) — March is a grand time of year when you’re Irish. Or when you’re of Irish heritage. Or when you wish you were of Irish heritage. Or when you just claim you’re Irish even though you’re not.
And one of the best ways we celebrate this is with parades — boisterous, green-colored, shamrock-festooned, spirited parades.
So who was St. Patrick anyway?
He eventually returned to the island and started converting the natives to Christianity. He’s the patron saint of Ireland and as such is invoked to protect the spiritual and worldly interests of the island and its people.
He died in 461 A.D.
How is the day celebrated?
In 2016, an NYPD officer marches with his son past Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The US Census says about 32.6 million US residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2017. This is more than six times the population of Ireland (5.1 million). It’s more of a secular event and a party in the United States, and plenty of non-Catholics join in.
The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was held in Boston in 1737. And it’s just grown from there.
And now, let’s get to those 15 parades! Click the link in each city for details:
Parades in the United States
The Kenny’s Old Farts float tosses cabbage on Magazine Street in New Orleans back in 2008.
Matthew Hinton/AFP/Getty Images
Parades around the rest of the world
Up go the batons in Dublin’s 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images
Be sure to check out the photo gallery above for past parade highlights in many of these cities. And don’t despair if your parade didn’t make the list. After all, the “best” St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the one you’re attending.
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