According to the US Census, the number of US residents who claimed Irish heritage in 2009 is 36.9 million -- more than eight times the population of Ireland!
In Ireland, March 17 was mostly a family day -- church, perhaps a parade, lunch with family at a local pub or home. You would see Irish neighbors display their heritage by pinning a live shamrock to their coats.
These days Dublin goes all out with a lavish 5-day celebration -- according to their website, stpatricksfestival.ie, this year organizers have launched "Greening the City" asking all business and community members to participate in 'painting' the town green. The festival Parade features original and inventive street theater troupes, artists, dancers and marching bands from Ireland and across the globe.
Does all this make you want to learn more about your Irish heritage? Visit the National Library of Ireland and download their Getting Started guide, or visit their Genealogy Advisory Service available free of charge to all personal callers to the Library who wish to research their family history in Ireland. And of course don't forget to create your family tree online at MyHeritage.com.
And now we leave you with a preview of Jig -- the compelling story of the 40th Irish dancing world championships in Glasgow. Thousands of dancers, their families and teachers take part in the drama-filled seven day event where dance talent is pushed to the very limit in the quest for perfection.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!