In pics: Saint Patrick's Day parades paint the US green
Saint Patrick's Day, which marks the death anniversary of Saint Patrick of Ireland, is commemorated with a flurry of parades across the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other western countries. Even though the day falls on March 17, parades are usually organised on the nearest weekend. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, Irish traditional music sessions, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. There are also formal gatherings such as banquets and dances, although these were more common in the past. Also sometimes known as "the day of the festival of Patrick", people are often seen going out with friends and celebrating the Christian "feast day."