Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated religious festivals worldwide, with hundreds of millions across the globe celebrating it each year. This pure Irish tradition, which started in Dublin, quickly conquered the world and many famous landmarks turn green on the day to commemorate Ireland’s patron saint every year. So, what will you do to mark this Irish festival on March 17? Here follow 25 hot destinations where you can celebrate Saint Patrick’s day this year.
One of the more unusual St Patrick’s Day events is a three-legged charity race held in Copenhagen. The race is sponsored by Carlsberg and local Irish pubs and raises huge amounts of money for worthy causes every year. This year even the Little Mermaid will be sporting a suitable outfit as she will be lit green for the day.
Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the largest in North America. One of the must-do main events is the Grand Marshal’s Ball where partygoers consume industrial quantities of oysters and smoked salmon.
Padova is an Italian city where many Italian-Irish eyes will be smiling for a full five days at the Festa Irlandese, which attracts over 25,000 people in what is the biggest St. Paddy’s Day celebration in Europe—outside the UK, that is.
According to the town’s official website, the 25th annual St. Patrick’s Day Ceili in Halifax is set for Saturday, March 14, 2015, at Canadian Martyrs Church Hall. The doors open at 6 p.m., with dinner service starting at 6:30 and everybody’s welcome to dine and celebrate.
Tralee is a small town in Ireland that celebrates St Patrick’s Day with an impressive parade with groups of dancers, football clubs, and pipe bands marching through the town.
In this small town in County Monaghan, Ireland, a fancy festival is held annually on St. Patrick’s Day at 3 p.m. It is a fun-filled day for families. There’s always plenty of live music, color, and festivities including a fun fair, bouncy castles, giveaways, prizes for best floats, best band, and best shop window display. People from near and far take part or just come to watch and soak in the atmosphere.
Essentially taken from the Great War and to mark the festival of St. Patrick in Coatbridge, the exhibition will highlight the number of Irish people who settled in the town and subsequently the number of Irish regiments that were represented in Coatbridge during WWI, giving details about the lives of the soldiers who fought and died in the conflict.
Auckland, New Zealand
The St. Patrick’s Festival in Auckland is organized by the St. Patrick’s Festival Trust, a non-profit organization set up specifically to run the festival, supported by a team of volunteers who give their time, energy, and unceasing enthusiasm to make this festival one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. For that alone it deserves our respect.
Cabo Roig, Costa Blanca, Spain
The gorgeous Cabo Roig turns green for St. Patrick’s Day every year and hosts a fabulous parade and party to celebrate Ireland´s national saint. Last year’s parade was the largest in Spain and this year they intend to break the record.
In Nottingham, teachers and parents of the town’s biggest schools display their artistic talents in the town’s parade, while the rest of the young people wear costumes based on the story of Oisin and Tir-Na-Nog.
They say when you’re in Rome you must do as the Romans do, except on one special day of the year. On March 17 we all become Irish!!! All over the world we will unite to celebrate the wild drunken Irish culture by downing Guinness, Irish whisky, and green beer . . . even in Rome.
The Irish community of Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece after Athens and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the country, welcomes visitors to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with whiskey and ouzo too. Opa!
The Japanese are proud of having “the first St Patrick’s Day in the Northern Hemisphere,” and one of the biggest parades takes place in the capital. There are more than 1,500 participants and 50,000 visitors that show up to this event which is sponsored by the Irish Embassy.
Because of the time difference, Australia will always kick off the biggest celebrations of the year and that has been the case with St Patrick’s Day since 1810, when the governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, declared the date an official day of celebration in Sydney, where a significantly high number of people of Irish heritage live.
The beautiful Caribbean island that became famous worldwide when there was a huge volcanic eruption in 1997 has an incredible link to Ireland, celebrated each year with a week-long festival culminating on St Patrick’s Day. It is also a commemoration of the slave uprising on the same day in 1768.
With one of the biggest parades in England taking place in Birmingham, The Visit Birmingham website states, “Whilst being unmistakably Irish at the core, the Parade increasingly mirrors the fantastic diversity of ethnicities as it welcomes guest appearances from other communities.” Lovers of multiculturalism and diversity are going to love it there for sure.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
This might be a surprise to most but in Argentina they actually love celebrating this day. Believe it or not, more than 50,000 people celebrate St Patrick’s Day each year, and around ten blocks of the city are closed to traffic, allowing green-clad partygoers to take to the streets.
Another city that goes green this time of year—and in Chicago’s case, quite literally. The absolute highlight of the celebrations is the river, which is dyed green each year and for that reason they call it a “modern-day miracle.”
Manchester is another major English city where there will be floats, bands, dancing, and all the counties of Ireland represented this year. Manchester Town Hall will also be lit green as part of Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” initiative to celebrate the holiday and draw attention to the country.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 people each year take part in the festivities, which include a comedy festival and a parade that follows a 1.5-mile route before finishing in Whitehall. The London Eye will go green once again this year as part of “the Global Greening.”
Germans don’t have any close ties with the Irish but as you probably know Germans love to drink and party just as much, so this day gives them the chance to combine both of these activities. Additionally, an annual parade has taken place in Munich since 1996.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland might not be independent like the rest of Ireland but that makes the hearts of the locals beat even harder and faster on Saint Patrick’s Day when every corner of the country’s capital is filled with people who want to celebrate, drink, and party hard.
If you’re not in Ireland but are looking for a major city with a proud Irish heritage and a packed schedule for St Patrick’s Day, with festivals and exhibitions taking place, Boston is the right city for you.
New York City
With more than 150,000 participants, this is the world’s biggest St Patrick’s Day Parade, bar none. Those who take part march down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on the day itself, and the parade has been in existence since before the Declaration of Independence, having started in 1762.
Obviously the Irish capital is one of the biggest venues for those who are looking to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. After all, it’s the country of its origin.