The Wearing of the Green

MTEveryone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day.
It's time to remember that long-lost uncle or great-grandmother from Ireland, pick up a pint of Guinness and get into the St. Patrick's Day spirit on Novy Arbat. This year's parade will take place on Novy Arbat on Sun., March 16, the day before St. Patrick's Day, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Since its inception in 1992, the annual parade has become a huge event with thousands of participants.

March 17 is the anniversary of the death in 461 of St. Patrick, who supervised the conversion of Ireland's pagan people to Christianity. He is the patron saint of Ireland and led a colorful life -- kidnapped by Irish pirates from his home in England, he was forced to work as a slave and tend sheep in Ireland for six years before escaping to France, studying in a monastery and, finally, being sent back to Ireland to spread Christianity.

The parade in Moscow is very much an international affair, with performers from across Russia. After all, as they say in Ireland: "On this day, everyone is Irish." There will be a wide variety of musicians, dancers and performers taking part in the parade. Wearing green is de rigeur.

A number of events are planned around the city in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. On March 14 and 15 at Grand Buf there will be concerts featuring two of the top Irish bands in Russia -- Foggy Dew and Puck-n-Piper -- as well as performances by a harpist, a bagpiper and a top Russian Irish dancer.

Sally O'Brien's pub will be throwing a party after the parade, starting at 4 p.m. There will be live Irish music and dancing and special offers on selected beers and spirits such as Jameson whiskey.

The Shamrock pub will be holding an 'Ireland Week' starting on March 10 with special offers on Irish drinks and food, and live music and dancing after the parade.

Grand Buf, 13 Vasilyevskaya Ul., M. Mayakovskaya, 254-2122.
Entry is 500 rubles on March 14 and 600 rubles on March 16.

Sally O'Brien's, 1/3 Ul. Bolshaya Polyanka, M. Polyanka, 959-0182
Shamrock, 11 Novy Arbat, M. Arbatskaya, 291-7681