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Thousands of people took part in festivities across Northern Ireland to celebrate St Patrick.

From Bearing Drift to you, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Irish flag is flying over Springfield's City Hall on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day falls in the middle of the Easter Lenten season, but because it's a feast day it's an exception, so you have a couple of weeks of abstinence, punctuated by this one opportunity to have a bit of a break and the next day go back to your Lent.

Chicago Celebration: March 12, 1955 - The first St. Patrick's Day parade is held. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.

Between 1820 and 1920, some 4.5 million Irish sailed to these shores to live. According to Britannica, one of these legends has it that he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea to their destruction.

Today's parade featured more than 2,000 members of marching bands from across the country.

According to the Confessio of Patrick, Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland.

And of course, celebrations took place in NY, with Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar taking part in that city's St Patrick's Day parade.

"The people on this Island really celebrate their culture, probably more so", he said.

So, why does green prevail, and the Chicago River turn green each year on March 17? Here's how other cities celebrate the luck of the Irish. That emblem became a popular symbol of Irish nationalism, picked up in the late 19 century as a logo of the Irish Unionist Party.

And thus, history is left to give us the wearing of the green and its rich Irish heritage.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attaches shamrock to the collar of mascot Irish Wolfhound Domhnall at the presentation of Shamrock to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, at a St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, London on March 17, 2018.