All about Birmingham’s Historical Celebrations, that is the world’s 3rd largest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade:
Did you know that Birmingham UK has the 3rd biggest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in the world? New York City has the biggest Saint Patrick’s Day parade & then the second largest is Ireland’s own parade in Dublin. Birmingham was actually the first city in Britain to hold a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and it dates back to 1952.
Playing a large part in that is because here in Birmingham, we also have Britain’s only Irish Quarter; with 10 Irish pubs, Irish Centre, Irish Catholic Church St Anne’s and a meeting point for Irish community, business, food, music and culture.
The Irish Quarter is in a buzzing area called ‘Digbeth’ that delights with buildings old & new and graffiti art in the most creative of places. Captured here below, in a few photos from the Irish Quarter and at the ‘St Pat’s Rocks’ open air stage playing live music to the crowds after the parade and into the night: 🎻
Click HERE to go to the official Birmingham Parade website to read all about it and HERE to see a collection of photos from the parade itself from dancers, musicians to county flags, etc. But also parade dancers and musicians from other cultures too. The official explanation for this below is beautifully inclusive:
“Whilst being unmistakably Irish at the core, the Parade increasingly mirrors the fantastic diversity and multicultural nature of Birmingham, as we welcome guest appearances from other communities. What could be more Irish than extending hospitality?“
– Quote from the official St Patrick’s Day Birmingham Parade Website
I have friends from a mix of cultural heritage that come out with me and join in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day even though they don’t have any Irish heritage. From the quote above you can see that it really is a celebration open to all and a great way to share Irish culture and hospitality outside of Ireland itself.
Even Birmingham’s famous Bull statue outside of ‘The Birmingham Bullring’ was dressed up for the occasion:
Everyone can be Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day & join in the celebrations!
On Saint Patrick’s Day I naturally miss my Irish Grandad Mac who died in 2016 & miss all the St Patrick’s Day fun we used to have – with him singing Irish songs, reciting poetry, humming a jig, eating Irish food together & him raising a whiskey or too. Although I still miss him so much, I know we were so blessed to of spent so many St Patrick’s Day’s with him & those are cherished memories! 💚
I am also grateful he brought me up knowing all about my Irish roots & taking me back to his hometown in Ireland regularly throughout my life. My Irish family & the place not just the people, will forever have a special place in my heart as it’s 1 of the remaining connections to Grandad I still have. GBNF 🙏
Do you have a special place in the world like that, that has a special place in your heart for sentimental reasons?
Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year for good fun, having a jig, a sing-song and the only day I continually drink pints (Irish cider not Guinness though for me lol.) I have a collection of hats, green wigs and other memorabilia that add to the laid back atmosphere of the day.
So, I will always celebrate each year & raise a toast for the legend that was my GRANDAD MAC aka Bernard (Brian) McMahon 💚 Click HERE to read a poem I wrote all about him & the man that he was, as part of my blog post all about “MAKING FRIENDS WITH GRIEF” & how grief can sometimes be met in a more soothing way by making comforting choices.
So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate from Helen’s Journey!🍻 You never know, maybe one day you will make it Birmingham to join in the famous fun…
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