From Ireland to Boston, coronavirus shuts down St. Patrick’s Day parades

biden and obama

President Obama and Vice President Biden dressed in green ties for the St Patrick’s Day in 2016

Source: Washington Post

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Major cities across the globe usually turn into a sea of green on March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but several officials in recent days have canceled iconic parades because of the spread of coronavirus.

Parades for St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that carries deep religious and cultural significance for the Irish, have been canceled in Dublin, Boston and San Francisco. The public holiday and holy day of obligation in Ireland usually draws about half a million people to its capital and launches the country’s tourist season.

“It’s momentous, reflecting how seriously people are taking this,” said Bill Dailey, a priest and director of the University of Notre Dame’s Newman Center for Faith & Reason in Dublin, who likened St. Patrick’s Day to the Fourth of July in the United States. The last time the parade was canceled was in 2001 because of foot-and-mouth disease.

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