14 March, 2021: What do a sauna on a city centre ferris wheel, a giant troll sculpture made from recycled wood and a Smurf statue have in common? They are just some of the more unusual participants in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day 2021.
Perhaps the quirkiest of all of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings this year is happening in Finland – the Tilted Sauna, also known as the ‘Drunken Sauna’, an abandoned sauna tilted on its side on Tampaja Lake, in southern Finland.
Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength – from its beginning back in 2010, when just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green, to this year, which will be the biggest ever Global Greening. Around 670 sites in 66 different countries are signed up to take part for 2021. From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of famous buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green over the coming days.
As well as the Tilted Sauna, other quirky ‘Greenings’ this year include:
- Bjarke Cirkelsten in Denmark – a giant troll sculpture made from re-cycled wood, created by Copenhagen-based artist Thomas Dambo.
- a uniquesauna cabin in the SkyWheel Helsinki where people can sweat and see the city sights at the same time!
- Jääsauna 52 – the first ever ice sauna in Tampere, Finland; the sauna’s 50-cm thick walls are made from the frozen water of local lakes and never melt, as the intense cold refreezes everything after use!
- a Volkswagen Beetle in the Volkswagen museum in Germany, which was built in Ireland in 1949.
- the Sekenani Gate – the main gate to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya.
- a giant Kissing Couple XXXL statue located along the bicycle route between Amsterdam and Zaandam; the male is 8.6 metres high and the female is 8.1 metres high.
- a huge Smurf Statue in central Brussels.
- a solar giraffe – a solar power-generating structure in the shape of a giraffe, that provides power for the community of Mangunze, in Mozambique.
- ‘Mac the Moose’ in the city of Moose Jaw, in Saskatchewan, Canada – a steel and concrete sculpture of a moose, standing 32 feet tall.
- a Sleeperoo pop-up sleeping cube, made from sustainable materials, in central Frankfurt, Germany.
- the Equator Monument – the Equator sign and line in Kayabwe, Uganda.
- Perlan in Reykjavík – a futuristic, revolving glass-domed restaurant on the top of Öskjuhlíð hill in the Icelandic capital.
- the Big Fiddle of the Ceilidh – the world’s largest fiddle, on Cape Breton Island in Canada.
- a carp statue, called ‘Fridolin’, in the town of Höchstadt an der Aisch, in Bavaria.
- Le Dragon de Calais – a dragon machine in Calais, in northern France, that can breathe fire, water and diffuse mist; it weighs 72 tonnes, is 25 metres long and 15 metres high!
2021 marks the 12th year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the 12th year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful (and unusual!) new additions like the Tilted Sauna in Finland and a giant troll sculpture in Denmark! Although St Patrick’s Day will be very different this year, Tourism Ireland aims to capitalise on the heightened exposure for Ireland around the globe on 17 March, to ensure that Ireland remains ‘top of mind’ as a great holiday destination for bookings when the time is right.”