St Patrick’s Day or the Feast Day of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, has over the years become a global celebration of Irish culture on and around March 17 each year.
It has since become a worldwide tradition for parades to take the streets of cities and capitals worldwide. We found several sources stating that the first parades took place in different cities across the United States of America on different dates, however we can’t confirm, but what we are confident of, is that wherever did host the first celebration had an unforgettable time. Although festivities in celebration of the day are arguably unrivalled in Ireland, you don’t have to travel to the island to partake in the festivities of St Patrick’s Day; we’ve listed four alternative destinations around the world where you can also celebrate in style.
It’s no surprise that the Irish capital is the epicentre of the global celebrations. In order to get the full experience of celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Ireland, visitors should plan on staying for a week, as the festival of St. Patrick is a four-day event, with the main parade taking place on March 17th.
The atmosphere is electric! Emerald green floats manoeuvre through the city centre, entertaining over 500,000 spectators. The extravaganza (14-17 March) features beer and whiskey festivals, funfairs, and free live music. You can also catch the Greening of the City, which sees seventeen of Dublin’s most iconic buildings illuminated with emerald coloured lighting.
This year, St Patrick’s festival and the Guinness Storehouse are collaborating to present the famous Guinness Supper Club. The menu features the finest Irish meat dishes, served with ice cold Guinness brews, to be enjoyed in a vibrant atmosphere of great conversation and live music. Tickets can be purchased here.
On the Saturday closest to St Patrick’s Day, a multitude of nationalities from across the world come together, for a parade through central London. The three day festival is approaching its seventieth year in London and more than 125,000 merrymakers are expected to line the streets from Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square for a lively parade of music and ceilidh dancing. You can also expect to be entertained by Irish folk shows, walking tours and a taking place across the city. Should you get peckish, you’ll be spoilt for choice of traditional food from Irish street food markets.
The Crown & Shuttle and the Water Poet are two of Shoreditch’s most popular Irish pubs. This year, they will be hosting six days of celebration in honour of the special occasion. From Irish gin masterclasses to screening the Wales vs Ireland Six Nations rugby match.
This year, the St. Patricks day parade is taking place on March 16th in Manhattan. Over 150,000 people participate in the oldest and biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S., with two million spectators lining the route that runs through Fifth Avenue between 11am - 5pm.
Away from the parade you’ll find the city that never sleeps lined with residents and tourists drinking at bars, full of Irish spirit. Should you work up an appetite and you’d like to try some traditional Irish grub, make it a point to book a table at one of the most authentic Irish pubs in New York; Molly’s Pub & Restaurant Shebeen, which first opened in 1895. They serve some of the best corned beef and cabbage in the city.
The well-renowned McSorley’s Old Ale House is an Irish pub that has been in New York for over 160 years. Named after one of the city’s most notorious Irish street gangs, The Dead Rabbit will be serving their famous Irish coffee and offer a more laid back atmosphere. The Haven Rooftop will also be pouring generous glasses filled with their $5 “special green shot”, served on St Patrick’s Day only.
The windy city hosts two parades in honour of St Patrick’s Day; one on the North Side and another on the far South Side. The downtown parade attracts more visitors, while the South Side edition is more family-oriented, but both are well attended.
The Chicago River is dyed green at 9am on the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day; a tradition that dates back to 1961 and organisers insist that leprechauns help with the magical transformation of the murky waters into a flowing emerald stream.
Montserrat is the only other country in the world where St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. The tiny Caribbean island celebrates their independence on St Patrick’s Day after colonisation in the 17th century. Many of the island’s inhabitants have Irish ancestry, and St Patrick’s Day is celebrated with a week-long festival. Montserratians honour St Paddy’s Day with a series of parades, boat parties and BBQs all over the island.
St Patrick’s Day is a celebration to be spent with your family and friends. In the instance that you are not able to make it back home this year, you can send money to your loved ones abroad using Xendpay. We are passionate about keeping families connected, especially during important holidays like St Paddy’s Day. Our “Pay What You Want” transfer fees and competitive exchange rates make us a great choice over your traditional high-street bank.