On March 17 every year, St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. The celebrations are organised to commemorate the death anniversary of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Also on this day, the tourism season of the country begins. The motto behind organising such celebrations are to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage. Thousands of people have attended St Patrick's Day parades this week across the northern part of the nation.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center background, and his wife Chirlane McCray, join Christine Quinn, left, Brendan Fay, second from left, chairman of the Lavender and Green Alliance, Edie Windsor, third from right, and Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, right, in the staging area before marching up Fifth Avenue during the St. Patrick's Day parade.
Bat boy Conner Regan dressed for St. Patrick's Day tosses a ball after catching a pitch at home plate prior to a spring training baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals, in Lakeland, Fla.
Participants in the St. Patrick's day parade perform as they march up Fifth Avenue,in New York. The nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parade kicked off Thursday in New York City, and for the first time in decades, gay activists are not decrying it as an exercise in exclusion.
Steven Menendez waves a gay pride flag as he waits for the St. Patrick's Day parade to start on Fifth Ave, Thursday, March 17, 2016, in New York. The nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parade kicked off Thursday in New York City, and for the first time in decades, gay activists are not decrying it as an exercise in exclusion.
Racegoers dressed in fancy dress arrive at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham England on St Patrick's. Cheltenham always attracts a large number Irish people to the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival.
President Barack Obama, left, with Vice President Joe Biden, and Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny, right, with his wife Fionnuala Kenny, hold up a bowl of shamrocks during a reception in honor of St. Patrick's Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama is celebrating his eighth St. Patrick's Day in the White House.
Debbie McDonald, left, Lynn Merrit, center, Elaine Lennan, right and Andrew Lennan, of background, South Hampton, England, watch the St. Patrick's Day parade, in New York.
The largest parade in the Republic of Ireland was in Dublin. Not all of those taking part in the Belfast parade were looking their best. Though it was all green in colour.