TOP of the week to you. Yes, we’re going all Irish this week, culminating in St Patrick’s Day on Saturday.

Glasgow’s St Patrick’s Festival already started at the weekend, and events continue through the week, with film screenings, Irish readings for kids, quiz nights, concerts and a Festival Family Day on Saturday afternoon in Merchant Square.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland kicks off on Friday with comedy nights at The Stand and the Dalriada Bar, and traditional music sessions at The Captain’s and Sandy Bell’s. Sunday will see a St Patrick’s Pageant on Portobello Promenade, so let us pray for clement weather.

Even yonder London will be getting in on the act, as its festival starts on Friday with a theme celebrating Ireland’s women (hashtag #BehindEveryGreatCity), while its biggest ever St Patrick’s Day parade takes place on Sunday, starting at Hyde Park Corner before weaving (unsteadily in some cases) through Piccadilly, Haymarket and Trafalgar Square to Whitehall.

Birmingham already had its St Patrick’s Day Parade last Sunday, said to be the third biggest in the world behind Dublin’s and New York’s, each of which take place this Saturday, as does Global Belfast, which is the theme this year in the Northern Irish city.

St Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, the Irish saint having caught on in a way that eludes our own dear St Andrew. Maybe it’s just the Irishness, or the way the celebrations have become outward-looking and open to all.

On Saturday, the whole world will be Irish. In all of this, it’s not important to remember that the original celebration was religious. St Patrick is said to have prayed to God a hundred times a day, making it sound like he was trying to get through to broadband enquiries. Maybe the Lord had put him on hold.

In reality, God communicated with Patrick through a dream, where he told him to leave Ireland and go and convert the pagans of Britannia. “Your ship is ready,” he was told, leaving him little time to pack his crook.

Oddly enough, Patrick was originally from Britain – either Scotland, Cumbria or Wales, no one’s quite sure – and was captured by Irish raiders who took him to the Emerald Isle and tellt him to look after some sheep.

Soon, however, he built up a flock of worshippers, and the rest is history, with quite a lot of myth, but nobody cares: the point is to dress up as a leprechaun and have a rip-roaring time.

St Patrick’s Day takes place across the globe on Saturday.