500,000 form sea of green for parade
on 18/03/2013 00:00:00
North of the border, Belfast staged its own carnival and parade through the city centre, with street performers and an open-air music concert.
But the Emerald Isle was not the only place where the Guinness was flowing and the craic was mighty.
With an Irish diaspora of 70m, major cities around the globe paid tribute to the nation's patron saint.
Marching bands and pageants kept thousands on their toes in central Dublin as they marked the year of The Gathering - Ireland's 12 months of homecoming celebrations.
Floats, performance artists, dancers, and acrobats portrayed what it means to be Irish.
A giant door and roaring fireplace symbolised the return of family from abroad, while the inflatable woolly jumper was wheeled down the city's main thoroughfare of O'Connell St to offer up hugs to all.
A 7m raggy doll and oversized toys like robots and teddy bears delighted the thousands of excited children, with leprechaun hats and painted faces spread throughout the crowd.
Renditions of traditional songs such as 'Danny Boy' rang out as brass, pipe, and drum bands proceeded through the city centre.
Twelve bands travelled from the US to take part in the Dublin parade, as did members of the New York City fire department, who flew in early yesterday morning.
They joined 40 members from the French navy who paraded through the streets, along with the nation's own Garda band and the National Ambulance Service of Ireland's pipe and drum band.
Dublin Airport said it expected around 225,000 passengers to pass through its gates over the holiday weekend - an increase of 6% from the same time last year.
Hundreds of thousands of people globally joined in the St Patrick's Day festivities, with some of the world's most famous sights lit up green to mark the occasion.
The Pyramids of Egypt and Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue were both bathed in emerald throughout the day.
Other monuments and natural wonders that went green included the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, New York's Empire State Building, and Berlin's TV Tower.