The Greenest & Greatest: St Paddy’s Day Celebrations From Around the World

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Oh to be Irish! Whether the green blood runs through you or you just like to get your plastic Paddy on, St Patrick’s Day is an event marked in many a festive fan’s calendar. Known as great travellers, Irish communities have sprung up the world over, leading to some rather surprising locations for this parade bossing, Guinness-fuelled annual celebration. So, grab a pint of the black stuff and get reading – Slàinte!

1. New York, USA

Boasting the world’s largest St Patrick’s Day parade, New York knows how to celebrate. The city boasts a rich Irish culture with descendants of the green isle stretching back generations. To be held on Saturday 16th March this year, residents and tourists alike will line Fifth Avenue to watch a whopping six hours’ worth of floats, bagpipers and over 200,000 entertainers pass them by.
Image © Stuart Monk

2. Sydney, Australia

If you begrudge the chilly weather that usually accompanies the 17th March then Sydney’s celebrations are the ones for you. To be held this year in the historic area, The Rocks, attendees will get to see the neighbourhood transformed for the day into an Irish village. As well as a jam-packed parade, visitors will be able to enjoy story-telling, live music, crafts and food.
Image © Leelakajonkij

3. Seoul, South Korea

Perhaps not the most likely place to find festivities for the patron saint, nevertheless, Seoul’s celebrations always go off with a bang. To be held on Saturday the 16th this year, the family-friendly day focuses on music and traditional dancing – all perfectly orchestrated by the Irish Association of Korea. Those who make the trip can also tack on some sightseeing, exploring trendy Myeong-dong shopping district and the historic Gyeongbokgung Palace.

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Another opportunity for a balmy St Patrick’s can be found in Argentina’s capital. What first began as modest celebrations in the city’s few Irish pubs has now evolved into a full on street party, with many of the country’s 500,000 Irish residents celebrating alongside tourists and locals alike. Revellers head to Avenida de Mayo to get stuck into the beer stands and food stalls lining the street, before the pipers start up and the parade gets into full swing.

5. Toronto, Canada

As well as the classic parade, Toronto offers a plethora of other ways for people to paint the town green. Whether they check out the Toronto Irish Film Festival for a spot of culture, get their leprechaun on at Shamrock Fest or go knees up at a good old fashioned cèilidh. The traditional dances are hosted at live music venues across the city and keep everyone moving and shaking until the wee hours of the morning.
Image © Labrynthe

6. Montserrat, Caribbean

With Irish immigration dating back to the 17th century, Montserrat has long been known as ‘The Emerald Isle of The Caribbean’. The only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day as a public holiday, festivities on the isle do not disappoint. The week-long event combines Irish, African and Caribbean heritage, with a freedom run, nature hike and junior calypso competition all on the agenda.

7. Dublin, Ireland

We couldn’t dedicate an entire blog to this greenest of days and not mention the homeland! Celebrations in the Irish capital last for a week, with tourists from all over the world flooding into the city for the big day itself. As well as the main parade you’ll find community events and parties taking place across the city, which becomes awash with green outfits and black pints. Those shooting straight for the heart of the action tend to go drinking down in Temple Bar district for a night they won’t forget.
Image © Aitormmfoto

8. Munich, Germany

Now one of the largest parades in Europe, Munich’s festivities begin at the Deutsches Museum. The event sees a mix of the best Irish dancers, bands, sports teams and groups wind their way through town to the cheers of thousands of revellers. Admission to the after-parade party is free and invites everyone to keep the celebration going with bands, food, drinks and entertainment.
Image © Kirill Livshitskiy

9. Chicago, USA

Nowhere takes the green dress code quite as seriously on Paddy’s Day as the Windy City. As well as parades and parties being hosted across Chicago the Local Plumbers Union always take things one step further and spend the morning of the 17th set about a very important task. A tradition that has been upheld since the early sixties, the Chicago river undergoes an annual dying to the most vibrant of greens!

10. Tokyo, Japan

Held annually for the last six years on the weekend of St Patrick’s Day, Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park plays host to the I Love Ireland Festival. A celebration of all things Irish, attendees can expect to find stalls, dancing, music, food and even a spot of rugby going on in the park. Due to the time of year the area also tends to be awash in cherry blossom, creating a rather beautiful backdrop for the festivities.
Image © Alarax