St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland © David Soanes Photography/Getty Images
For centuries, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was not a loud, celebratory holiday, but more of a quiet observance of the feast day on March 17. It didn’t become an official public holiday in Ireland until 1903. Then in 1996, the capital city of Dublin started embracing the way St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in the US and other places outside Ireland with large Irish populations: It began hosting a festival that’s become so popular, even government agencies housed in Dublin’s Government Buildings—seen in our photo today—get in on the fun by bathing their building’s façade in green light. A big parade and performances celebrating Irish culture are the order of the day here and at St. Patrick’s festivals throughout the country.