Top o’ the morning! World leaders wish Ireland Happy St. Patrick’s Day
World leaders were seeing green as they wished Ireland a happy St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday.
The Irish Foreign Ministry released a video featuring well-wishes from heads of state from various countries.
"I wish you all the best in this St. Patrick’s Day," President Joe Biden said.
The president attended a morning Mass at the aptly named St. Patrick’s Church near his family home in Wilmington, Delaware, before returning to the White House to partake in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations toned down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In keeping with recent tradition, the water in fountains outside the White House ran green for the day.
"Beannachtaí na féile Pádraig oraibh," Prince William added, which means "Happy St. Patrick’s Day."
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"We’re delighted to wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day," his wife, Kate, continued before referring to a previous trip to Ireland. "The warm welcome that we received everywhere was a testament to the friendship between our two countries and the strength of the relationship between the U.K. and Ireland."
Other appearances included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Princess Takamado of Japan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has stifled traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in parts of the world.
A largely virtual St. Patrick's Day was planned for New York City on Wednesday, one year after the annual parade celebrating Irish heritage was canceled because of the pandemic.
According to Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, St. Patrick’s Day is the country’s national holiday named after its patron saint.
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Officials said 16-year-old Patrick was captured by raiders in northern Britain and was taken by pirates across the Irish seas. He spent several years in captivity, working as a shepherd. Patrick escaped after receiving a spiritual vision. He then returned to Ireland decades later to share his Christian faith, abolish slavery and end pagan rituals.
He also used a three-leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, making the shamrock the famous symbol of Ireland.
Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD.
From 1820 to 1860, almost 2 million people left Ireland, many due to the potato famine in the 1840s and 1850s. More followed in the 20th century to reunite with relatives and escape poverty and joblessness back home.
Once settled, they found new ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and their Irish identity in their new homes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.