St. Patrick’s Day
On the 19th of March, thanks to God who blessed us with some beautiful sunshine and Yury Luzhkov, for continuing to allow the parade in the first place, the St. Patrick’s Day parade took over Novy Arbat. This is the only parade currently authorized to mark a foreign holiday in Moscow, if not in the whole of Russia.
Rory Brady, the Irish Attorney general who flew into Moscow especially for the occasion commented: “this year’s procession is the biggest here since 1998, with 35 floats, and is one of the largest outside Western Europe. This day allows the Irish to celebrate their national identity.” Perhaps it was the spirited Irish dancing, the bizarre design of some of the floats, the spirits manifest both in ethereal and liquid planes; but the parade allowed all present to feel an indefinable joy, a welcome ending to the winter. Saint Patrick is accredited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. After being sold into slavery at 16, he escaped to Gaul and studies under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for 12 years. Then he returned to Ireland and over thirty years carried out a successful mission of converting the Celtic Druids to Christianity. The Druids didn’t much like Patrick, and he was imprisoned many times, however after 30 years of successful missionary work he retired to County Down and died on March 17, AD 461.