St Patrick’s Day is celebrated here in Brisbane on 17th March and also a parade is usually held on the Saturday prior to Saint Patrick’s Day, terminating in the City Botanic Gardens. Following this parade a festival is held in these gardens with live music, food and craft stalls and the craic continues on long after the parade is finished.
QIAPB has a longstanding tradition of leading this amazing parade through Brisbane CBD which is followed with numerous gigs around Brisbane city and Fortitude Valley until late in the night. We do the same on the traditional day of the 17th March and you can catch us around and about in Brisbane CBD and Fortitude Valley entertaining the crowds.
This first photo is our earliest photographic record of QIAPB marching in a Saint Patrick’s Day parade and was taken in 1948 following reformation of the pipe band after World War II.
Origins of St Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, Saint Patricks’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide. The Irish are descendants of the ancient Celts. But the Vikings, Normans and English contributed to the ethnic nature of the people. Centuries of English rule largely eliminated the use of the ancient Gaelic, or Irish, language. Most Irish are either Catholics or Protestants (Anglicans, members of the Church of England).
So why is it celebrated on 17th March? One theory is that it is the day that Saint Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland – with the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on 17th March each year. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass where 17th March is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.
St Patrick’s Day over the years in Brisbane
The following photos are a history over the years of QIAPB’s contribution to Saint Patrick’s Day parades.