Uganda joins St Patrick Day celebrations in move to market tourism monuments
The Uganda Tourism Board in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland in Kampala on Thursday kicked off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations by illuminating two of the country’s monuments in colour green, synonymous with the Irish celebration of the day.
St Patrick’s Day, celebrated in Ireland annually on 17 March observes the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green.
Irish missions abroad normally identify key monuments in countries they base in which, in conjunction with the host governments, they illuminate green for a certain period of time as a means of highlighting their presence to the world and boost tourism.
In Uganda this year, the independence Monument along Speke Road in the capital Kampala and the Amahembe g’ente (Horns of the Cow) at Igongo Cultural centre in, Mbarara city were chosen to be illuminated.
The choice of the Independence monument was in commemoration of the country’s 60 years of independence which it celebrates this year, while the Amahembe G’ente was to represent the cultural identity of people in western Uganda who are mostly cattle keepers.
The two tourist sites will be illuminated green from a full week.
In the previous years, the Embassy and UTB have greened the Equator Monument in Kayabwe, the Jinja Nile Bridge in Jinja and the Igongo Eclipse Monument. The greening event is geared towards bringing awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions to the global scene.
This year’s greening ceremony will mark the eighth year Uganda is participating in the Global Greening initiative that kicked off 12 years ago globally and has seen more than 300 famous landmarks and iconic sites all over the world go green like the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Table Mountain in South Africa, among others.
According to the UTB Chief Executive Office, Lilly Ajarova, the joint celebration of the greening initiative is part of a long-term working relationship with the Embassy of Ireland. The initiative she added has supported Uganda to showcase her unique tourism offerings to the International community while also strengthening collaborative ties with Ireland; which is one of Uganda’s key source markets for tourists.
“We chose to have St. Patrick’s Day celebrated at these two monuments because they are iconic monuments and landmarks that echo the uniqueness of Uganda as the Pearl of Africa. The Independence Monument tells a lot about Uganda’s Independence now that we will be celebrating 60 years of Independence, whereas, the Mbarara City Horns of a cow monument depicts the unique cultural and historical story of Ankole, “she said.
The Irish Ambassador to Uganda Mr Kevin Colgan said that the Global Greening campaign has been a continued success for St Patrick’s Day across the world.
“Uganda is a country with amazing potential. The Independence Monument is one of the most important pieces of Uganda’s heritage. The Horns of the Cow monument at Igongo Cultural centre in Mbarara clearly speaks of the uniqueness of Uganda and the Ankole people,” he said.