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Gala Night opening ceremony will include the presentation of a bowl of Shamrocks by the Irish Ambassador resident in Slovenia and accredited to BiH. This custom stems from a gesture by Ireland’s ambassador to the United States in 1952, when he sent a small box of shamrocks to US President Harry Truman, unknowingly creating a tradition that is still carried out 66 years later.  From Reagan to Clinton, Nixon to JFK – every U.S. President since 1952 has embraced the Shamrock ceremony at The White House. So powerfully symbolic was the gesture that it is now a feature of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations across the globe.

Another evolving tradition is “the wearin’ of the green” which was originally considered a sign of Irish dissidence. The origins of the wearing of green clothing in the U.S. on Saint Patrick’s Day and for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in general date back to the 19th century, when waves of Irish immigrants came to America looking for better job opportunities, especially after the Great Famine of the 1840s-50s, and began wearing green and carrying Irish flags along with American flags as a point of pride for their home country.

This ceremony will include a piper playing the Ambassador into the great hall and there will be a surprise performance before the feast and music begins.

Gala Night is by invitation only so if you want one please write to us, wear something green and see you there!


Dear All,

Due to unprecedented demand, we are no longer able to send invitations for Gala Night. Thank you for your understanding.

Sarajevo Irish Festival Team