St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Around the World

March 12, 2014 by

Things to Do, Travel Advice & Inspiration

St Patrick’s Day. The one time of year where it is totally acceptable to dye beer green. And drop green coloring into bodies of water. And strut around in head-to-toe green. It’s the day of festive parades, followed by a night of even more festiveness. All of this is done for one reason: to celebrate Saint Patrick, one of Ireland’s most well-known saints.

It’s come a long way from its religious origins. In the 17th century, St Patrick’s Day was celebrated with large feasts. Today, well, you know… it’s a secular celebration of the Irish culture. On this day, even those who aren’t Irish wear a token of green in honor of the festivities.

While celebrating in Ireland is a no-brainer on St Patrick’s Day, there are other places around the world that guarantee a celebration like no other.

Dublin

St Patricks Day Dublin

Dublin is a great place to be on St Patrick’s Day! Photo courtesy of UggBoy?UggGirl via Flickr

But, first, we have to talk about Dublin. The capital of Ireland, each year tourists descend upon this gorgeous Irish town to party. Celebrations for March 17 actually begin ahead of time, so book accommodations early, even if plans are to be there before the actual day. The days leading up to St Patrick’s Day are filled with parties and Temple Bar, the popular tourist destination, is packed with locals and visitors. Then, on St Patrick’s Day, there are parades and more. By night, of course, there is celebration. It should be noted – in Ireland, the Irish don’t dress up quite like others around the world to do celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Some do, but for most, it’s normal attire.

Read more: Guinness World Record for Patricks and 7 Secrets to Uncovering the Best of Dublin 

Argentina

Argentina St Patricks Day

Revelers in Argentina. Photo credit: Gustavo Facci via Flickr.

The Irish in Ireland aren’t the only Irish to celebrate. For a unique experience, head south to Argentina on March 17. In the early 1800s, the British invaded the country. Today, a lasting effect is the large Irish community there; it’s the fifth largest outside of Ireland. In Buenos Aires, 10 blocks of Reconquista turn into a massive street party (as they so often do there) filled with dancing and heaps of people decked out in the signature green.

Sydney

St Patricks Day Sydney

Celebrate with a Guinness in Sydney – photo courtesy of Peter Hindmarsh via Flickr

There are also great celebrations Down Under. In Sydney, they celebrate St Patrick’s Day and Family Day at the same time. Is it more family-friendly than the other parades around the world? That’s up to you to decide.

Chicago

St Patricks Day Chicago

Green Chicago River – photo courtesy of Simon King via Flickr

Chicago is another city to visit on the 17th. Each year, the windy city hosts one of the largest celebrations in the nation. They take it as far as dyeing the Chicago River a brilliant shade of green (which still contains a green pigment after the event). Its parade, which takes place on at noon on the 17th, is one of the largest parades in the country. For those interested, stake out a place near the start of the route at Columbus Drive and Balbo Drive.

Browse Bar and Pub Tours in Chicago

Boston

Not to be outdone by the city to the west, Boston is likely the best place to be in the country for people looking to be surrounded by those who identify themselves as Irish. In fact, Massachusetts has the largest number of people of Irish descent in the country. Here you can also earn about the history of Boston (which boasts the world’s first recorded parade for St Pat’s Day). Be sure not to party too hard, because there’s also the South Boston St Patrick’s Day Parade – the country’s second largest parade.

St Patricks Day Boston

St Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston – photo courtesy of Jenn Mau via Flickr

Book a pub tour Boston

New York

St Patricks Day NYC

St Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. Photo credit: momentcaptured1 via Flickr.

Finally, there is always New York City. Parading since 1762, the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade has dubbed itself “the oldest, biggest and best in the world”. It starts at 11 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and continues past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and onto the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Irish Historical Society, all the way to 86th street around 5 p.m. Then, of course, for those old enough, it’s on to the pubs for some Irish drinking.

- Diana Edelman

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One Response to “St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Around the World”

  1. Jessie Says:

    I would love to get down to the Myrtle Beach St. Patty’s day. They have a full Irish Festival, but they don’t dye the ocean green or anything. What a great excuse to have a party, and the Catholic Church never was against tipping the odd beer back. If they had been, they never would have made it in Ireland. Like you say, though, the religious aspects have faded away – now it’s just a great excuse to go to the beach in March and get one of the nice Myrtle Beach family resorts. Thanks for reminding me about St. Patrick’s, its right around the corner!

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