Have you ever noticed that almost anywhere you go in the world, there’s an Irish pub? When St Patrick’s Day comes around, chances are you’re going to be in close proximity to somewhere celebrating with cheer and beer, even though you might not know it!
St Patricks Day is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other national day. What started out as a Christian celebration honoring Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, has turned into festivals and celebrations across the globe, so you might be surprised by who celebrates St Patrick’s Day. It’s held on the 17th of March every year and involves parades, festivals, the wearing of green colors, shamrocks, dances, music, you name it! Although it began with Irish people celebrating all over the world nowadays, even non-Irish people claim to be “Irish for a day” and take part in the celebrations!
In Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is not a national day, although it is a public holiday. The biggest celebration is held in Downpatrick, where St. Patrick is said to be buried. However, there are a number of countries that celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and you might even be surprised by some of them.
15 Countries You Might be Surprised Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Montserrat is the only other country in the world where St Patrick’s Day is actually a public holiday. The tiny island nation celebrates their independence after colonization in the 17th century. Many of the island’s inhabitants have Irish ancestry, and St Patrick’s Day is celebrated as part of a week of independence festivities.
In the United States, St Patrick’s Day is not a legal holiday but is still widely recognized and festivities include big displays of the color green and celebrations of the Irish-American culture. New York, Boston, and Chicago all have large-scale St Patrick’s Day parades. Even the river is Chicago is turned green for the occasion!
Argentina is one of the most surprising countries that celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Buenos Aires is home to the largest St Patrick’s Day celebration in South America. A number of festivals and events take place across the city, including a party in the city center.
Ok so maybe this one isn’t so surprising since the United Kingdom is Ireland’s closest neighbor, and England, Scotland, and Wales are home to many Irishmen. Many cities hold parades, the biggest one being in Birmingham, and the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York.
As St Patrick’s Day draws near you’ll notice signs appearing in many pubs across the country, advertising St Patrick’s Day parties and specials. Irish Whiskey’s and Guinness will be the drink of choice, sometimes even with green dye in it!
Oslo holds its very own St Patrick’s Day Fringe Festival, with Irish related cultural events taking place, as well as a St Patrick’s Day parade.
Bars across the country, from Istanbul to Izmir, Ankara, and Bodrum gear up to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Live music features heavily, with celebrations continuing well into the early hours of the morning. Just make sure you wear something green!
Tokyo has put on a St Patrick’s Day parade since 1992, and it has only grown bigger. While it was started out by Irish expats as a way to introduce Irish culture to Japanese people, it has now caught on and become a mixture of Irish and Japanese costumes and dress-up.
Given the large amount of Irishmen who immigrated to Australia, it’s perhaps not so surprising that it’s another place where St Patrick’s Day celebrations are in abundance. Expect it to be much like the UK, with pubs and restaurants offering traditional Irish fare and drinks, and planned parties across the country from Perth to Sydney.
St Patrick’s Day celebrations have taken place in Zagreb for several years now, including concerts and even a parade. While it may be on a smaller scale than other places, it’s definitely catching on!
Although it’s almost exactly across the world from Ireland, New Zealand is still one of the countries celebrating St Patrick’s Day, thanks in part to so many of its citizens claiming Irish heritage. A parade is held in Auckland during the day, and the Auckland Sky Tower is usually lit with green lighting for the night. Across the rest of the country, Irish pubs are packed with people dancing to Irish music and often drinking Guinness!
In Mumbai, the Gateway of India is turned green for St Patrick’s Day. India loves to celebrate, and St Patrick’s Day comes not long after the Holi festival, which celebrates spring and love. Irish pubs around the country are busy on St Patricks Day too!
United Arab Emirates
The Irish Village in Dubai has long been a place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in the UAE, although other Irish Pubs around Dubai are getting in on the act too. Family-friendly activities, dancers, and live music are usually on offer, to get you into the Irish spirit!
The city of Montreal has one of the longest-running and largest St Patrick’s Day parades in North America, occurring since 1824. Many Canadians have Irish ancestry, but even those who don’t join in on the fun as everything from cooking classes to whiskey tasting to parades and pub parties take place.
Moscow also began holding a St Patricks Day parade in 1992. St Petersberg also has a music and dance festival, and pubs across the country have caught on to St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Singapore has it’s own St Patrick’s Society, mostly formed of expats, who host an annual St Patrick’s Day ball. There’s also often music events and parades, with many people dressing up in green for the day.
These are just a few of the countries that celebrate St Patrick’s Day across the world, as in reality, anywhere you can find an Irish pub (which is almost anywhere!) will be having some kind of celebration!