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Irish Community, Ugandans Commemorate St. Patrick’s Day

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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It was all fun and excitement, Friday night at Outters bar in Kololo as the Irish community was joined by Ugandans and other nationals to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.

Guests were treated to a range of Irish Music, foods and Guinness Drought all evening long despite the Corona Virus Pandemic that has seen many party people withdraw from the norm.

From the look of things, its only Uganda where the celebrations took place and nowhere else in the World as many called it off for fear of the Corona Pandemic.

Cathy Tumwesigye, Brand Manager Value Beer at UBL said there’s need to appreciate the Uganda Government for the strict measures on entry of foreigners to the country.

“We all need to appreciate our Government for the tight guidelines imposed on those entering our Country from different parts of the World.”

Saint Patrick’s Day also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, the Day of the Festival of Patrick), is a cultural and religious celebration held between 13 to 17 of  March to commemorate the traditional death date of the foremost patron saint Patrick of Ireland.

Speaking to journalists, William Carlos, the Irish Ambassador to Uganda shared his excitement upon being able to celebrate St Patrick’s Day here in Uganda.

“Uganda is probably among the very few countries around the world that are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It is special to us and we are grateful to have been able to celebrate it with friends and family,” said Carlos.

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The night was crowned with performances from Bachram band as dancers Gemma Holmes and Ronan Kelly showcased their incredible moves all evening long. Their performances were indeed exceptional.

Irish Dancers Gemma Holmes and Ronan Kelly entertaining the guests

They later invited some of the guests who had shown interest to learn how to do Irish step dance.

To some Irish locals, St Patrick is believed to have introduced Christianity to Ireland, banished snakes from the island and used the ‘three leaf Shamrock’ to spread the Holy Trinity.

The Day was only made an official Christian feast in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church among others.

It is a special celebration to commemorate Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland while observing the Irish heritage and culture. This is clearly done with special public parades and festivals, céilís and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.

St. Patrick is a highly respected public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees) and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat.

Guests being taught the Irish Dance

It is also widely celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, especially amongst Irish diaspora. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.

In Ireland during the celebrations, people wear a small bunch of Shamrocks on their right breast of their outer clothing. The Shamrocks are blessed in ceremonies all over Ireland by either the local Priests or Bishops. This is known as the Blessing of the Shamrock.

Other cities that have canceled St. Patrick’s Day celebrations include; Northern Ireland’s Belfast and South Boston in the US.

The pandemic has as well contributed to the cancellation of various renowned festivals in the US, concert tour dates throughout Asia and marathons in Rome as the only measure of preventing huge crowds from assemblage- an ideal environment for the virus to spread.

According to the Former President of the Irish Society in Uganda, Adam Sweetman, this year’s proceeds collected from the engaging festivities will go to chosen charities.  For this year; Hoima Justice and Peace Commission; African Soup and Hospice Africa Uganda. The festivities for Saint Patrick’s Day will continue into the weekend with a dinner to be held at Sheraton Hotel on Saturday evening.

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