LONDON, March 16 -- More than 100,000 Londoners and visitors from home and abroad were attracted to celebrate the annual St Patrick's Day on Sunday in the heart of the city.
Organized by the Mayor of London and supported by many Irish businesses, the event was accessible to all audiences to experience Irish culture from a diversified ways, including the famous Riverdance, Irish music, songs, food and arts.
Irish people in London were seen wearing bright green attire, hats and different kinds of accessories, and some draw green shamrocks on their faces, a lucky symbol for the Irish.
A large-scale parade, which involving around 90 groups and other participants, began in the midday from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square with a route of 2.4 kilometers. Exciting performance, dances, fantastic floats and spectacular bands won applause and cheering from the audiences standing on the roadside.
"I'm Irish. I came to London with my family on a vacation, and we today celebrate our festival in London. It's great and I'm so excited. The parade is amazing, and people here, not only London people, but friends from other countries also enjoy the day. It's a good opportunity to make more people know the Irish festival," an Irish audience told Xinhua.
"It's so funny that people in the crowds wearing green hat. Although it is very different from our traditional culture, people are so happy here, and their smiles and enthusiasm affected me, and I think I'm very luck to take part in such a great festival in Britain during my one year study," said Liu Xing, a Chinese student in Lodnon.
London has begun to hold annual St Patrick's Day parade since 2002. Other cities across the country, such as Birmingham and Manchester also celebrated this festival on Sunday, the closest weekend to March 17.
St Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on 17 March, the death date of the most commonly-recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by some churches, especially the Church of Ireland.
Today, it is widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, including Britain, Canada, the United States and New Zealand.