All this drinking, violence, destruction of property. Are these the things we think of when we think of the Irish? – Kent Brockman, the Simpsons

From Vilnius to Belfast, and all over the continent, nothing brings Europeans together quite like their favourite pastime of boozing. And what better occasion than St Patrick’s Day to bring out the jubilation for every nation? (Rhyming absolutely intended.) To get a flavour of this green-gaelic-gaiety, two of E&M’s photographers went to London and Munich to give you their perspectives on the day, quite literally.

Tobias examines the German interpretation of what it means to be an Irishman for a day. These Bavarian leprechauns really do take the holiday to heart as they celebrate their 20th anniversary of the Munich parade. See more of his photos in 6th Sense.

Nadia went to the Medieval Banquet in London to get sucked into the magic of the “Irish Myth” themed evening. However the magic truly started on a good old pub crawl. After all, if crawls are your business, you’d be a fool to miss out on the biggest drinking session of the year.

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Photo: Tobias Melzer, Time for the old to get young: In between the traditional green, Munichers sport all sorts of Irish garb. It may appear to be Little Bo-Peep courting the Child Catcher but I assure you it’s authentic.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Focus on the task at hand: Meanwhile in London, preparations are well underway, and it’s not just lining up the shot glasses, they must be filled and imbibed as well.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Exceptional talent 1: Nothing brings out the sensational skills of the performers like the snug feeling of green and black lycra.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Exceptional talent 2: Much like exceptional talent 1… only different somehow.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, A sprinkling of clovers: Legend has it St Patrick used the three leaves of the clover to illustrate the Holy Trinity, and they still find uses to this day!


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, A lucky jar: You might ask what’s so lucky about the jar? Well in that case you’ve missed the point.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Tradition and transformation: Did you you know that if you play a violin very fast while wearing a green outfit, it immediately becomes a fiddle? That’s Ireland for you.


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Photo: Tobias Melzer, Celtic culture: The Germans prefer to celebrate different sorts of Irish instruments. However a Genghis Khan impersonator has chosen this moment to photobomb.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Flaunt what you’ve got: Spirits are high on the St. Patrick’s pub crawl, where they don’t let imperfect Paddy’s paraphernalia stop them giving it a good old college try.


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Photo: Tobias Melzer, I’m smiling on the inside: However nothing spells happiness in Munich like a well planned outfit.


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Photo: Tobias Melzer, Ginger beards and curls: I must say this parade is kind of corny… lepre-corny that is!


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Leprechaun reloaded: Just like Heath Ledger’s new take on the Joker, the revamped leprechaun adds a new dimension.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, Winding up or down?: It’s hard to tell when St. Patrick’s is over, but a good indicator is the number of green signatures on your shirt.


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Photo: Nadia Lamaani, The banner says it all: Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.


About the photographer

Tobias Melzer lives in Munich. When not taking photos, he makes a mean goulash.



About the photographer

Nadia Lamaani is a freelance photographer with a passion for the visual arts. She was born and raised in London. Twitter: @nadialamaani




Cover photo: Ben (Flickr); License: CC BY-SA 2.0

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    Michael O'Keeffe is a former editor of Brain and Legs for E&M. He holds a Master's in Chemistry from Oxford University and a PGCE from Christ Church Canterbury University. He is currently a science teacher living in London. He grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England for university. He enjoys travel, debates and writing about social and political issues.

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