Saint Patrick is widely revered as one of the patron saints of Ireland, and the republic of Ireland and Irish colonies and communities worldwide obvserve St Patrick' Day in honour of the respected saint. The day is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish, Christians and non-Christians alike in Montreal, and is marked with feasts and festive merrymaking. Irish food and drinks are consumed publicly, and people dress up in green and put up green flags and banners. Although not a public holiday, it is still one of the major events that draws crowds from all areas of the city. The highlight of the event is a Parade that has been held continually each year in the city since 1824, and is the largest of its kind in the whole of North America. It is held around March 17 every year.