Celebrated on the 17th of March, Saint Patrick’s day celebrates the passing of the most important patron saint of Ireland. The day commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and is largely associated with Irish culture. On Saint Patrick’s, people feast, consume alcohol and participate in parades wearing green attire or shamrocks. Saint Patrick’s day is the most celebrated national day and a perfect time to travel and celebrate it in certain countries:
1 The Republic of Ireland
Obviously, the best place to be on Saint Patrick’s is the Republic of Ireland. When you’ve got a national holiday that’s as popular as Saint Patrick’s around the world, you have to live up to certain expectations. The government decided to set up a festival that creates energy and excitement in Ireland though creativity, innovation and some serious marketing. This resulted in a five-day festival filled with culture, music, citizen participation and, of course, drinking and eating in the streets of Dublin. Still, festivities are also held in other cities, towns and villages including Waterford, Limerick, Kilkenny, Galway, Derry, Belfast and Cork.
This tiny island in the Carribean is the only other country in the world that celebrates St Patrick’s Day as a public holiday. A large percentage of the population traces its ancestry to Irish settlers starting from the 17th century. Saint Patrick’s Day is part of a week-long series of festivities that celebrate its independence.
Saint Patrick’s is celebrated in the United States mostly because Irish culture is one of the most prominent ones in the melting pot that defines this country. Although it isn’t a legal holiday, impressive festivities are held in New York, Boston and Chicago. In fact, the festival is so popular in the latter that the Chicago River is dyed green for the event.
Buenos Aires hosts the largest Saint Patrick’s parade in South America. The city is packed with lots of events and the best one is the party in the city center.
5 United Kingdom
It’s no surprise that St Patrick’s is popular in the UK. Many Irish citizens live here and the country also incorporates a part of the Emerald Isle. The largest parade is held in Birmingham over a 3 kilometer route through the city center. Liverpool and Manchester are two cities with a large number of Irishmen and lots of things going on during St Patrick’s.
Glasgow also has a large Irish population that came to Glasgow during the 19th century. This has led to lots of Irish-themed pubs and a yearly St Patrick’s day parade and festival since 2007.
One of the best places to celebrate St Patrick’s in North America is in Montreal. The parade has been held every year without interruption since 1824, while the day has been celebrated since 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison.
Regardless of your opinion of Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is a great occasion to participate in festivities following the start of Spring.
Can you think of other cities where you can have a blast this 17th of March? Let us know in the comments below!