Sunday, March 15th, was a wonderful sunny day for the 28th Annual Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
My ancestors left Cork, Ireland, on boats in 1825 (20 years before the Great Famine) and made the long journey to a rural area in central Ontario now known as Peterborough. Although their trek occurred nearly 200 years ago, I usually tell people that I am Irish or Irish-Canadian.
De-emphasizing my true nationality is not completely my fault. Growing up in a multicultural neighbourhood in Brampton, Ontario, people often asked me,
“What are you?”
“Yeah, but what are you really?”
“Oh, I’m Irish!”
In Toronto, the parade is always held on St. Patrick’s Day or the Sunday before the big day. St. Patrick’s Day occurs every year on March 17th as many believe that Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, County Down, Ireland.
A Quick Bio of Saint Patrick:
- Born in Bannavem Taberniae, Roman Britain (now Wales)
- Was abducted in Britain by Irish pirates at about age 16 and forced into slavery herding sheep for six years
- Escaped from slavery in his early 20s and returned to his family in Britain
- Became a priest and returned to the northern half of Ireland as a Christian missionary
- Supposedly converted thousands of the pagan Irish to Christianity
- Credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland
Now, back to the parade!
Toronto’s heroic firefighters looked dapper as they marched in large numbers.
Our Irish Castle – if the rent in my building goes any higher, we’ll be moving in there.
The Cork Transit Commission. My ancestral home, Cork, is represented by a guy lying in bed while drinking hard whiskey in the “Sleeping Car.” The next car offers a “Massage To Go” – I’m not sure what that’s about.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings people from all backgrounds together. A Chinese Dragon entertained the crowd as it danced down Yonge Street.
A large Portuguese brass band got into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
The steel drum band added a tropical vibe to the festivities.
Even the GO Bus was Irish for a day.
The County Armagh Leprechaun.
Another leprechaun marching home to his Pot of Gold.
The green, white and orange flags were everywhere on Sunday.
Paraders continue their long march down Yonge Street.
I had to get a pic with the County Cavan banner.
Éirinn go Brách! (Ireland Forever!)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!
Comments are always welcome.