Tuesday, 17 March 2015 00:00

Munich in Green and Black

Written by
St Patricks Day
Photo: Tobias Melzer

St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Bavarian capital


With Ireland and Irish diasporas around the world honouring their patron saint today, E&M photographer Tobias Melzer takes a look at continental Europe's largest St. Patrick's Day parade, an emerald extravaganza of good cheer and cultural diversity that has been held annually in the German city of Munich since 1995.

When it comes to exportability, there's no saint quite like Patrick. His appeal seems to know no bounds and St. Patrick's Day parades have caught on in just about every corner of the world. This year will also see a number of European landmarks, including the Colosseum in Rome, Montmartre's Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the London Eye being illuminated in verdant hues as part of Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening".

Though Munich is perhaps best known for its beer halls and Brezen, not to mention the world-famous Oktoberfest, there is a least one day a year when being Bavarian takes a back seat and the city embraces other cultural traditions. Now in its 20th year, the Munich St. Patrick's Day parade not only showcases the breadth of the Irish community's cultural endeavours here – everything from hurling to folk dance – but also gives a platform to other nations represented in the city.  The 2015 edition, which took place last Sunday, featured contributions from as far afield as Slovenia. In a show of international understanding, leprechauns mingled with Lederhosen-clad musicians, a certain dark beer flowed freely alongside German Helles and even the lord mayor of Munich got on stage to sing a duet of "Whiskey in the Jar". Saint Patrick would surely have been proud.

Tiny dancer...
Tiny dancers Tiny dancers
Fleet-footed dancers Fleet-footed dancers
Nattily dre...
Nattily dressed musicians Nattily dressed musicians
Sons of Ire...
Sons of Ireland Sons of Ireland
Bling bling
Bling bling Bling bling
Feel the rh...
Feel the rhythm Feel the rhythm
Bagpipers Bagpipers
A flag to e...
A flag to end all flags A flag to end all flags
American fo...
American football players American football players
Country dan...
Country dancers Country dancers
A clash of ...
A clash of flags A clash of flags
Black gold
Black gold Black gold
A lesson in...
A lesson in levitation A lesson in levitation
Welsh lamb?
Welsh lamb? Welsh lamb?
Young hurle...
Young hurlers Young hurlers
Leprechauns Leprechauns
"Hear ye, h...
Drumming fo...
Drumming for Munich Drumming for Munich
Furry fello...
Furry fellows Furry fellows
St. Patrick...
St. Patrick himself St. Patrick himself
Anything gr...
Anything green will do Anything green will do
Even furrie...
Even furrier fellows Even furrier fellows
Oh so very ...
Oh so very green Oh so very green
Travel in s...
Travel in style Travel in style

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 16:33
Tobias Melzer

Tobias Melzer is a Munich-based photographer. When not taking photos, he makes a mean goulash.


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