A day that is celebrated in most countries than any other national day is St. Patrick’s Day. It might have started as a celebration for Irish people honoring St. Patrick who is also known as the Patron saint of Ireland, but now festivities can be seen across the globe. People from different countries take part in parties, parade, dance, music, wear green hats, jackets, ribbons and claim to be ‘Irish for a day’ every year on March 17.
Although it is a public holiday in Ireland, plenty of other countries celebrate the occasion with the same zeal and joy. Other than Downpatrick, the place where St. Patrick was buried, and Dublin, other countries also paint themselves green (not literally) on this day.
So let us read how St. Patrick’s Day is stretched from Emerald Isle and celebrated around the world. You might even be surprised with some of them. Here we go:
Well, how can we start the list without mentioning Ireland, where it is considered as the most significant day. County Wexford, Dingle, Cork organizes their own parties on March 17, but the four-day festivities in Dublin is so far the best and the largest. Almost half a million people gather on streets for parades, dances, marching bands, funfairs, and other performances to showcase their talents and flaunt traditional dress.
Famous for not only the oldest but also the largest parade in the world, New York very well know how to ring in the St. Patrick’s Day in a grand way. Every year since 1762, revelers line up at the street of the fifth avenue to witness the great parade which lasts for almost five years. It features dancers, bagpipers galore, floats, etc., and huge crowds are seen in Irish pubs. This clearly indicates the proud of NYC for its Irish heritage. As a tradition, everyone wears green and the one failing to do so gets a playful pinch from others.
St. Patrick’s Day is declared as a day off to honor the Patron saint. The most amazing part is that they stamp visitors’ passport with a shamrock, a symbol for Christian Holy Trinity, as the sign of their Irish roots. Natives dress in colorful hats, perform traditional Irish jigs, and crack whips to show their opposition to former slave masters. They celebrate their independence and remember the Catholic history on this day.
It is actually a St. Patrick's week in the theater show.Buenos Aires and is the largest celebration in South America. It looks almost like another version of Dublin every year on March 17, and boasts plenty of food, live music, street parties with streets closed for any traffic each night.
Buenos Aires has the 5th largest Irish community in the world, and this is the reason for such grand festivities. But, you won’t find parade as a part of the celebrations here.
Tokyo is putting up St. Patrick’s parade since 1992, and it has grown bigger every year after that. It was introduced by Irish expats to introduce their culture in Japan and to its residents. Now, it has become an annual tradition, and people mix and match their costumes with Irish and Japanese outfits. There are costumed revelers, dancing leprechauns, marching musicians, cheerleaders, and much more on the streets of Tokyo.
The United Kingdom is the closest neighbor of Ireland, and many Irishmen live in England, Scotland, and Wales. The parades held by different cities are the biggest one in Birmingham, and the third in the world after Dublin and New York. Many pubs put signs of
St Patrick’s Day parties and specials as the day approaches. Most preferred drinks are Whiskey’s and Guinness, sometimes with green dye in it. People gather at the Trafalgar Square to be a part of entertainment activities which include traditional Irish dance and music. Other events are storytelling sessions, exhibitions, and parties organized in the best Irish pubs.
The highlight of the annual celebration is the dyeing of Chicago river in green. The best spots to view this beautiful scene are the east side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Upper and Lower Wacker Drive, and the west side of the Columbus Drive Bridge. Over two million people attend the celebrations every year. There are number of ways to celebrate the day ranging from pub crawls to the watching theater shows.
So if you are planning a vacation this St. Patrick’s Day, you can opt for any of the above-mentioned destinations. We are sure you will enjoy the festivities and would become an Irish for a day.
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