Back in 2010, Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green for St. Patrick's Day. Since then, Tourism Ireland’s annual 'Global Greening' initiative seems to have been embraced the world over.

From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of glorious green this weekend.

This year, we're looking at some of the quirkiest 'greenings' to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. From a lion statue in Kenya made entirely from recycled flip-flops to a giant Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London and a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Lapland, there have been some interesting tributes to our patron saint.

  • A giant, 25.2 metre Blue Whale skeleton, called ‘Hope’, suspended from the ceiling in the Natural History Museum in London.
  • A lion statue made from re-cycled flip-flops which have been washed up on the coastline of Kenya.
  • The Lapland Hotels SnowVillage in Kittila, in northern Finland. Each year, the hotel is built to a new design and, this year, the entire hotel has a Game of Thrones theme.
  • A lighthouse on the frozen Lake Näsijärvi in the Tampere region of Finland.
Global Greening
A lighthouse goes green in Tampere
  • The Wawa Goose – an 8.5 metre, metal goose statue, which stands along the TransCanada Highway outside the small town of Wawa in northern Ontario, Canada.
  • A polar bear habitat and a polar bear statue called ‘Chimo’, in the town of Cochrane, also in Ontario. Cochrane is the starting point of the Polar Bear Express train that travels the farthest north in the province of Ontario and that’s why the polar bear was chosen as the town’s mascot.
  • The Big Nickel – a giant replica of the Canadian 5-cent coin from 1951, standing nine metres tall in the grounds of the Dynamic Earth science museum in Sudbury, Canada.
  • Two of Australia’s famous ‘Big Things’ – The Big Banana and The Big Kangaroo.
The Big Kangaroo
  • The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – the soaring, $4 billion Hudson River crossing in New York, which opened in 2017; and
  • A carp statue, called ‘Fridolin’, in the town of Höchstadt an der Aisch, in Bavaria.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:

"St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage."

Click through our gallery above to see how to the world goes green on St. Patrick's Day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from RTÉ LifeStyle!