St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is the day when the whole world is Irish. Originally a celebration of a small country’s patron saint, it has turned into a worldwide phenomenon. When you think of a St. Patrick’s Day party, you may think of Dublin or Boston, but did you know that there are world class parties happening in Argentina, Germany, and Japan? Here are the top 10 coolest St. Patrick’s Day events around the world.
1. Sydney, Australia
Thanks to its time zone, Australia is the first to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The country has officially celebrated this event since 1810. In Sydney, the day starts off with entertainment and dancing, then the main parade winds its way through town. In the afternoon, there’s a family day with Irish musicians at Hyde Park North. Pretty exciting don’t you think? Youngsters in their 20s won’t dig a boring family parade with lots of grannies wearing green leprechaun hats, so for them we have prepared a special venue – Paddie Maguires, an Irish pub for all those single Aussies ready to party.
2. Dublin, Ireland
As you’d expect, Dublin is host to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world, with events stretching over several days leading up to the main event. The city has parades, free entertainment, street carnivals, and fun for everyone. It may be chilly, but it’s quite the party. The madness begins in the heart of the city, so be there!
3. London, England
About 100,000 people take part in London’s enormous celebration. The main celebrations are in Trafalgar Square, and the festivities include a parade to Whitehall, and even a comedy festival. Several major landmarks are going green, including the London Eye.
4. Chicago, USA
Chicago has one of the most spectacular St. Patrick’s Day traditions around. Every year, this “modern day miracle” turns the river through town to the color of the Emerald Isle. That’s not the only thing that goes green, though. They also green the Wrigley Building, Chicago Bears stadium, and numerous other buildings.
5. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Up in Northern Ireland, Belfast has a St. Patrick’s Day parade and free concert. This year, they have an intriguing theme. The parade is supposed to be about a re-imagined St. Patrick, who is adventuring through time travel to the future of Belfast.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Down in the southern hemisphere, Buenos Aires has a large celebration, with more than 50,000 people taking part in the festivities. They close off numerous blocks of the city to traffic, and the streets are full of merrymakers wearing that green, mega-famous Irish hat.
7. Munich, Germany
This Bavarian city has celebrated the Irish saint’s day since 1996. It begins with an Irish Mass, then the party starts with “Paddy’s Night Out”. They have a parade, and then finish things off with an evening of Irish dancing and music.
8. Boston, USA
The city of Boston is proud of its Irish heritage. For St. Patrick’s Day, they have a busy schedule of events, and the city is sure to be rocking. If you get tired of green beer, you can relax with a stop at the historic Boston Flower and Garden Show.
9. Montserrat, Caribbean
This small Caribbean island is perhaps best known for its major volcanic eruption, which happened in 1997. What you may not know is that they commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, along with a slave uprising that occurred in 1768 on the same day. This joint festival features storytelling, kite flying, and traditional games. If you happen to be on your honeymoon in the Caribbean this time of the year, give it a try as it will knock your socks off.
Tokyo claims to be the northern hemisphere’s first St. Patrick’s Day. It is the largest such celebration in Asia, and it has been running for 21 years. There’s a parade sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, and about 50,000 people turn up for the event each year. It’s actually pretty funny to see Asian people wearing Irish hats and singing Irish songs on March 17, but as long as everyone’s having fun, we should just embrace the Guinness.