No matter where you are or how you choose to celebrate on March 17th, everybody’s Irish! So, just how do others around the world “get their green on” for St. Patrick’s Day? Let’s do a little globe-trotting to find out how others shake that shamrock!
Where else but in the land of lads and lassies would you celebrate the patron saint of Ireland? A religious holiday akin to Christmas and Easter, many begin the day attending mass and praying to St. Patrick. This is followed by plenty of food and drink, including traditional Irish delicacies like corned beef and cabbage, Irish brown bread, potato soup, and a pint of Guinness! Face painting, shamrocks worn on lapels and hats, parades, and partying round out the day-long celebration! The two most festive cities in Ireland on March 17th are Dublin, Ireland’s capital, and Downpatrick, where St. Patrick was buried in 461.
Hosting one of the largest parades in the world with over 150,000 participants and millions of spectators, New York City is the crème de la crème of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Since 1762, the Big Apple has seen its share of smiling Irish eyes walk the streets of 5th Avenue. Many will also visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral to pray and to McSorley’s Old Ale House, the oldest Irish bar in New York.
In Chicago, the famous Chicago River is dyed bright green to match the celebrations, which includes its famous parade, which is always held on a Saturday. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, the WindyCity never turns off its Irish pride!
Elsewhere Around the World
Other cities around the world also celebrate in style. Canada hosts parades in many of its major cities and the day is an official holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador!
With its substantial Irish population, Munich, Germany, hosts an open air party with live music and dancing following its own ever-growing parade that’s been held since 1996.
Festa Irlandese is the name given to the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Florence, Italy! It’s a ten-day festival that draws thousands of visitors who dine on Italian versions of Irish food and drink!
In Copenhagen, Denmark, a charity for children with cancer is the beneficiary of the proceeds from celebrations that are sponsored by the Carlsberg brewery and many Irish pub owners in that city.
In the U.K., where the largest minority community is Irish, there are festivals held all around the country, with one of the biggest ones being held in Manchester, which claims the largest Irish population in Britain, outside of London. It’s a two-week event that includes cultural and educational activities leading up the the big day.
Japan has its own version of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as well that includes parades, parties, and pubs, especially those that feature Guiness! Free beer vouchers are handed out along the parade route and have become one of the parade’s biggest attractions!
The “wearin’ of the green” is just as popular in Russia, Australia, South Korea and many other countries as well, which just proves that it doesn’t matter if you’re Irish all the way, or Irish for the day…as long as you like to have fun!