St Patrick’s carnival goes global

(Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)
(Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

The St Patrick’s Day celebrations will have a distinctly multicultural flavour in Londonderry with the Ubuntu Festival kicking off on Saturday, March 19.

Aimed at families, the Ubuntu Festival hopes to promote global diversity by allowing people to experience some of the many different customs and traditions which are practiced in the district.

Mayor Elisha McCallion, said: “The Ubuntu Festival is always hugely popular, with plenty of entertainment for all the family. While the events are great fun they also carry a really positive message, highlighting the rich cultural diversity of our district and the many ethnic strands which combine to make up our close communities.

“Ubuntu offers the chance for us to be part of a global celebration and to do our bit to embrace diversity and inclusivity, and promote good relations across the district.”

The word Ubuntu is South African meaning that all our identities are interlinked and should be respected, which is reflected in the diverse programme for the day.

Festival and Events Officer with Council, Karan Leonard, said: “The event is always widely supported by so many ethnic groups, and this year we are expecting a great turn out at the Craft Village.

“The programme is packed with plenty of family events, and will provide the opportunity to try out new activities and sample some traditional dishes from a range of cultures. I would really encourage everyone to follow up their St Patrick’s Day celebration with a visit to Ubuntu.”

The Craft Village will provide the stage for some vibrant traditional music and performance, as well as arts and crafts, exhibitions of different cultures, and food tasters, taking place throughout the day from 12noon – 5pm. New to this year’s programme is a performance by African Fusion band Magwere, fronted by Zimbabwean born singer and percussionist Wilson Magwere.

Sample some authentic Zimbabwean rebel music with elements of funk, reggae and trance thrown into the mix.

And when you’ve finished dancing, try your hand at Polish flower-making, Russian doll carving, African jewellery making, traditional Indian dressing up and much more.

The Ubuntu Festival is just one highlight of this year’s St Patrick’s Day programme, which kicks off this year on Thursday March 17, running until Sunday March 20.

As well as the traditional Spring Carnival Parade on St Patrick’s Day, the festivities and activities continue over the course of the weekend with the Legenderry Food Festival taking place on Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20 in the Guildhall and Guildhall Square.

For more information on Ubuntu and all the weekend events please go to