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World shines green lights in global darkness for St Patrick's Day

Hundreds of iconic buildings will light up green today to help bring "positivity and hope" to the Irish diaspora, and all citizens, in a time of coronavirus

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Kylemore Abbey plans to go green for St Patrick's Day, 2020.

Kylemore Abbey plans to go green for St Patrick's Day, 2020.

The Gate of the Orient, the tallest building in Suzhou, Jiangsu (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’.

The Gate of the Orient, the tallest building in Suzhou, Jiangsu (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’.

Burj al Arab hotel, Dubai, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Pic – Tourism Ireland

Burj al Arab hotel, Dubai, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Church Stone Shelter in the nature reserve of Kintulammi, Tampere (Finland), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

The Church Stone Shelter in the nature reserve of Kintulammi, Tampere (Finland), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

A dancer from Sharon Lynn Academy of Irish Dance performed as The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) turned the historic 'Welcome' sign in partnership with Tourism Ireland in 2018. It will go green again this year. PHOTO: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

A dancer from Sharon Lynn Academy of Irish Dance performed as The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) turned the historic 'Welcome' sign in partnership with Tourism Ireland in 2018. It will go green again this year. PHOTO: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Sam Morris / Las Vegas News Bure

‘Nyati’ the Buffalo statue (made from re-cycled Tusker glass bottles) in Kenya joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Tourism Ireland

‘Nyati’ the Buffalo statue (made from re-cycled Tusker glass bottles) in Kenya joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Tourism Ireland

REPRO FREE
Wollaton Hall in Wollaton Park, Nottingham, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Fabio De Paola /PA Wire

REPRO FREE Wollaton Hall in Wollaton Park, Nottingham, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Fabio De Paola /PA Wire

PA

The Clock Tower of Tirana in Albania joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Clock Tower of Tirana in Albania joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

National Museum of Qatar in Doha, Qatar, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Jaber AlAzmeh

National Museum of Qatar in Doha, Qatar, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Jaber AlAzmeh

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Sandy Young/PA Wire

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Sandy Young/PA Wire

PA

Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square in London joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic: David Parry/PA Wire

Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square in London joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic: David Parry/PA Wire

PA

St Gallen Cathedral in the city of St Gallen in Switzerland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Foto Lautenschlager GmbH

St Gallen Cathedral in the city of St Gallen in Switzerland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Foto Lautenschlager GmbH

Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Silk Market in Beijing (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’. 
Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Silk Market in Beijing (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Sydney Opera House (Australia) saw the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, when it was lit up in 2010 to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Archive Pic – Fiora Sacco

The Sydney Opera House (Australia) saw the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, when it was lit up in 2010 to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Archive Pic – Fiora Sacco

Fiora Sacco Photography

The Sky Tower in Auckland (New Zealand) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Frances Oliver

The Sky Tower in Auckland (New Zealand) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Frances Oliver

The Kaarsild Bridge in Tartu, Estonia, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Kaarsild Bridge in Tartu, Estonia, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

A section of the Arabian Desert near Dubai joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. The ‘greening’ was organised in conjunction with Arabian Adventures. Pic – Tourism Ireland

A section of the Arabian Desert near Dubai joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. The ‘greening’ was organised in conjunction with Arabian Adventures. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The TV Tower in Tallinn, Estonia, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The TV Tower in Tallinn, Estonia, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The lighthouse at Straits Quay Marina in Penang (Malaysia) illuminated in green. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The lighthouse at Straits Quay Marina in Penang (Malaysia) illuminated in green. Pic – Tourism Ireland

‘Oslo Treet’ (meaning ‘Oslo Tree’), an urban art installation in Oslo, Norway, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland

‘Oslo Treet’ (meaning ‘Oslo Tree’), an urban art installation in Oslo, Norway, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Tourism Ireland

A previous 'greening' of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. The iconic statue will go green again this year. Photo: Twitter/Consulate General of Ireland in Sao Paolo (@IrlSaoPaolo)

A previous 'greening' of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. The iconic statue will go green again this year. Photo: Twitter/Consulate General of Ireland in Sao Paolo (@IrlSaoPaolo)

Heidecksburg Castle, Germany: "Here the coronavirus has brought public life to a standstill. The big festival for St. Patrick's Weekend has been canceled. But the Heidecksburg glows green!' says reader, Christian Engel.

Heidecksburg Castle, Germany: "Here the coronavirus has brought public life to a standstill. The big festival for St. Patrick's Weekend has been canceled. But the Heidecksburg glows green!' says reader, Christian Engel.

The Žvėryno Bridge in Vilnius (Lithuania), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Žvėryno Bridge in Vilnius (Lithuania), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

Green on Green as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Janssen Sciences and DePuy Synthes turn their Wind Turbines green to light up Cork's Lower Harbour to mark St Patrick's Day. Picture: Adrian O'Herlihy

Green on Green as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Janssen Sciences and DePuy Synthes turn their Wind Turbines green to light up Cork's Lower Harbour to mark St Patrick's Day. Picture: Adrian O'Herlihy

The Clock Tower – a landmark in Hong Kong, located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Clock Tower – a landmark in Hong Kong, located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Citigroup Tower – a 180 metre, 42-storey high skyscraper in the Pudong financial district in Shanghai (China) – joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’.  Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Citigroup Tower – a 180 metre, 42-storey high skyscraper in the Pudong financial district in Shanghai (China) – joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The message on the tower reads ‘Ireland loves China’. Pic – Tourism Ireland.

The Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai (hotel) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai (hotel) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland

Junker airplane in Bremen Airport, Germany, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The plane became part of aviation history when it made the first ever east to west transatlantic flight (from Ireland to Greenly Island, Canada). It was co-piloted by Col James Fitzmaurice of Co Laois. Pic – Martin Herrmann

Junker airplane in Bremen Airport, Germany, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. The plane became part of aviation history when it made the first ever east to west transatlantic flight (from Ireland to Greenly Island, Canada). It was co-piloted by Col James Fitzmaurice of Co Laois. Pic – Martin Herrmann

Matti Nykäsen Mäki (ski jump), Jyväskylä, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland (no repro fee)

Matti Nykäsen Mäki (ski jump), Jyväskylä, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Pic – Tourism Ireland (no repro fee)

The Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington (New Zealand) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. Pic – Neil Price

The Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington (New Zealand) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. Pic – Neil Price

Neil Price for Wellington City C

The Nallikari Snow Fest, and international snow sculpting event in Oulu, Finland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Mikko Törmänen

The Nallikari Snow Fest, and international snow sculpting event in Oulu, Finland, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Pic – Mikko Törmänen

The Suzhou International Financial Square, Suzhou (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. Pic – Tourism Ireland

The Suzhou International Financial Square, Suzhou (China), joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening. Pic – Tourism Ireland

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Kylemore Abbey plans to go green for St Patrick's Day, 2020.

This is not a normal St Patrick's Day.

It doesn't feel like a normal anything, anymore.

And given the circumstances, with tourism bookings falling off a cliff, travel restrictions mounting and airlines moving to ground their fleets, the notion of a 'Global Greening' might seem a bit surreal.

The annual initiative, now ten years old, sees iconic buildings and landmarks around the world go green for St Patrick's Day, in an effort to inspire tourism and make the most of Ireland's day on the world stage.

This year, given the coronavirus crisis, it may not have happened.

"Tourism Ireland contemplated whether or not to go ahead with its Global Greening project this year, given the extremely difficult circumstances faced by our industry," the all-island marketing organisation says.

"The feedback Tourism Ireland received from around the globe was that, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, supporters of Ireland are still pressing ahead with Global Greening – to mark St Patrick’s Day and to keep Ireland to the fore in a positive light."

Throughout the day then, as Covid-19 spreads and the lights go out on tourist attractions and businesses around the world, hundreds of green beams in over 50 countries will do the opposite - and switch on.

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The Sydney Opera House (Australia) saw the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, when it was lit up in 2010 to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Archive Pic – Fiora Sacco

The Sydney Opera House (Australia) saw the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, when it was lit up in 2010 to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Archive Pic – Fiora Sacco

Fiora Sacco Photography

The Sydney Opera House (Australia) saw the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, when it was lit up in 2010 to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Archive Pic – Fiora Sacco

The 'Welcome' sign in Las Vegas, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, Madison Square Garden in New York and Niagara Falls are just a few of the iconic landmarks going green.

The global light show will "help to bring positivity and hope" to 70+ million people around the world who claim links to this island, Tourism Ireland says, as well as the travel and tourism professionals who promote the island as a holiday destination, and now wonder what the future may bring.

The Global Greening started in 2010, when Tourism Ireland staff approached authorities in New South Wales, Australia, to ask if they’d consider lighting the Sydney Opera House green on St Patrick’s Day.

It did, and a tradition was born.

“We are deeply grateful to Ireland supporters across the world who, despite unprecedented challenges, are marking St Patrick’s Day and remembering Ireland in a very positive light," says Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland's CEO.

"We hope our Global Greening will bring a little positivity and hope to people everywhere and remind them that, if we all do the right thing now by following advice of our medical experts, this crisis will pass. "

Online Editors