150 Shades of Green: Global landmarks light up for St. Patrick's Day
The Global Greening has begun, with the first of an expected 150 landmarks lighting up for St. Patrick's Day.
Switches have flicked on Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue (pictured above), Nelson's Column in London and other iconic landmarks ahead of Ireland's national holiday.
We'll be adding to our gallery as the lights come on.
The Global Greening is a Tourism Ireland initiative that encourages iconic structures around the world to go green for March 17 - throwing a spotlight on the island of Ireland.
The initiative began in 2010 with just a single building - the Sydney Opera House.
This year, some 150 sites will follow suit, ranging from Rome's Colosseum to Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris, Niagara Falls in Canada, Dubai's Burj al Arab hotel, the Las Vegas 'Welcome' sign and the Great Wall of China.
New participants for 2015 include the Colosseum, the Sacré Cœur basilica in Paris, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry and Edinburgh Castle.
Iceland is joining the Global Greening for the first time, and even the Equator Sign and Line in Uganda is going green for 2015.
"Being able to put ourselves front and centre on the world stage in this way reaps unrivalled dividends in terms of publicity, promoting Ireland and getting the message out about our recovery," said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe TD.
"It is estimated that last year, the Government's St Patrick's Day efforts secured €5 million in new business," the Minister added.
It hopes to improve on the figure this year.
In total, Tourism Ireland plans to spend €21.5 million promoting the island in the first half of 2015, with a #GoGreen4PatricksDay initiative aiming to create a clear link between St. Patrick's Day, Global Greening events and holidays in Ireland.
Last week, it launched a video narrated by Liam Neeson promising potential visitors that here in Ireland, "every day is bathed in green".
“We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week; the saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media, is an invaluable boost for our overall tourism promotional drive,” said Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland CEO.
Read more:VIDEO: Liam Neeson lends his voice to global St. Patrick's Day push Fifty Shades of Green: Global landmarks sign up for largest ever St. Patrick's Day celebrations Dublin hotel rates rise by 86pc ahead of St. Patrick's Day St. Pat's Cathedral offers free admission to Patricks and Patricias on March 17 Tourists spend €4.7bn here as visitor numbers soar by 8.9pc