CONGRATULATIONS GRAND MARSHAL 2014
ST PATRICK’S DAY PARADE TOKYO
Tokyo, Japan — Once again organizers of the INJ TOKYO St. Patrick’s Day Parade are giving the public a chance to be heard in deciding who will be the 2014 parade grand marshal.
Suggestions for worthy grand marshal candidates for the March 16, 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade are now being sought. After consideration, the grand marshal will be offer Peter MacMillan.
We would like to nominate Peter MacMillan for the following reasons:
～Peter MacMillan who is more than enough of career as a bridge between Japan and Ireland is extremely suitable as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Ireland.
Activities of Peter MacMillan talented motivate Ireland and Japan in the future.～
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. Patricius was born in Britain to Roman parents sometime around 380 AD. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep.
While herding the sheep, he had much time to ponder the many Bible verses his Christian father taught him. After 6 years of captivity he escaped after having a dream from God and returned to Britain. In Britain he had yet another dream of the people of Ireland calling to his return and decided to become a priest. He went to France to begin his vocation and was sent to Ireland (to Slane which is now hugely famous for its rock festival) as a bishop around 432. He peacefully spread the word of God through preaching, baptizing, confirming in the then pagan Celtic Ireland. It is said that he and his disciples converted almost all of the population of Ireland.
Patrick is also credited with banishing all the snakes from Ireland. This is probably a metaphor for his driving the pagans from Ireland as snakes were often associated with pagan worship. Another well known legend had Patrick using the shamrock (which resembles a three leaf clover) to explain the Trinity as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He died on March 17th 461 at Saul and is believed to be buried in Downpatrick. And so it was that a young Briton named Patricius died an Irishman named Patrick. Every year on March 17th his death is celebrated around the world.
On March 17, people all over the world will be join the Irish to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, the death of their patron saint. Cities like New York and Boston will have large parades in which shamrocks, leprechauns and the colour green will predominate. Chicago will even dye its river green. No matter where you are, on Saint Patty’s Day you will see the colour green worn more than on any other day of the year. The “wearing of the green,” the national colour of Ireland, has become a way for people anywhere in the world to connect with Ireland.
That tradition is also upheld here in Tokyo and every year you can watch and participate in the parade on Omote Sando. The Tokyo parade is organized by the Irish Network Japan (INJ) and was first held in 1992 with the support of the then Irish Ambassador to Japan, Mr. James Sharkey. Various dignitaries from many countries participate in the parade including the deputy prime minister of Ireland Mary Hearney in 2001.