15 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around the World (Slideshow)
March 10, 2014
From the green pyramids in Giza to the streets of Oslo, Norway, you can toast this Irish holiday anywhere
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
In the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. In cities like Montreal and Toronto, the celebrations take to the streets. Since 1824, the people of Montreal host a parade on the Sunday closest to March 17th. The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day is dated as 1759, when Irish soldiers serving the British armies were celebrating the conquest of New France in North America.
While you may not find Egyptians donning green wigs and shamrock socks, you will find them being quite festive this time of year. The pyramids and Sphinx in Giza are illuminated green in homage to the Emerald Isle.
As neighbors to Ireland, the Irish community in Scotland celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. The week-long festival includes Irish dancing, listening to authentic Irish song and poetry, and of course having a pint at a local Irish pub.
St. Croix, Virgin Islands
The Crucians realized in 1969 that they were missing out on a ton of celebratory opportunities by skipping over St. Patrick’s Day. Then and there they decided to kick off the festivities with a parade that still is celebrated today. Each year a theme is chosen and both natives and tourists take part in the parade
An artillery group of Irish Catholics in Mexico, known as St. Patrick’s Battalion (in Spanish as el Batallón de los San Patricios) fought in the Mexican-American War. When the war was waging, immigrating Irishmen found it to be more prosperous to join the Mexican army as their foreign soldiers. While they were eventually disbanded, the group fought fiercely and caused great damage to the opposition. Today Mexico celebrates these soldiers with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations including parades and authentic music.
Finnegan’s Irish Pub claims to be the one and only Irish-owned drinking well in Rome and Florence. Expect a St. Paddy’s Day stew of British and Irish expats and international students studying abroad.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Did you know that the world’s fifth-largest Irish population resides in Argentina? On March 17, tens of thousands of Argentineans dressed in green gather in Buenos Aires' Retiro neighborhood to celebrate with a late-night street party — after mass at one of Buenos Aires’ Irish Catholic churches of course. Visit The Kilkenny Irish Pub & Restaurant for a round of beers with a vibrant atmosphere.
Check out the cool crowd at McGettigan’s in Dubai, where you can enjoy the company of Irish, English, Scottish, and Welsh visitors along with live entertainment, award-winning pints of Guinness, and inventive takes on traditional Irish cuisine like seafood chowder, Wagyu beef chili fries, and an open-faced prawn sandwich. St. Patrick’s Day events carry on for a full week.
Tourists, locals, and Savannah College of Art and Design students march through Savannah, Ga., where the riverfront is dyed bright green for the annual St. Pats on the River fest, which turns 189 this year. Wash down fried oysters and she-crab soup with a cold beer under the Southern sun.
South Boston’s official parade boasts 600,000 to 1 million participants each year. The lively parade is deeply rooted in history — 1901 marked the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the 125th anniversary of the day General George Washington and the Continental Army forced the Brits out of Boston. Inevitably, the crowd starts and ends the parade at one of Boston’s many pubs. Check out The Snug in Hingham Square for its "Perfect Pint" and rowdy fiddle and banjo sets.
In Oslo, an official parade gathers to celebrate Norwegian-Irish heritage with traditional Irish river-dancers and musicians donning kilts. Later, the festively dressed party-goers migrate to one of four bars inside the Dubliner Folk Pub for an authentic finale to the "party of the year." Enjoy clinking glasses of whiskey, digging into a heaping plate of bangers and mash, playing shuffleboard, and rocking out to live music.
Seoul, South Korea
You might be surprised to learn that for years now the Irish Association of Korea has been hosting a St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Korea — and it attracts more than 10,000 participants each year. The similarities between Irish and Korean culture are strangely apparent — both have a strong appreciation for traditional music, beer, and cabbage. Korean bands like Bard play Irish folk while Korean marching bands also join in. Guinness is the drink of choice, served along with corned beef and cabbage.
National pride runs high in Dublin for its official four-day festival. Marching bands are flown in from as far as Oklahoma and Germany for the honor of participating in the fest. Traditional and contemporary entertainment can be found on nearly every corner and pubs are packed from morning into the wee hours of the night. Wear an extravagant costume and face paint to The People’s Parade, which marches past landmarks like the General Post Office, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and City Hall. Join the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl (March 15-17) to learn the ins and outs of Dublin drinking.
Cape Town, South Africa
Using renewable energy, Cape Town flips the switch and illuminates its beautiful Table Mountain with a captivating bright green color to celebrate St. Patrick’s at nightfall. The mountain bathed in green provides a spectacular backdrop for the city’s parties filled with live music, traditional nosh, and Guinness on tap. After a free traditional Irish concert at the V&A Waterfront, locals and tourists get merry at The Slug and Lettuce and across the street at The Dubliner.