17th March is St Patrick’s day, and it isn’t just for the Irish, it’s for the Irish spirit in all of us…
Wherever you are in the world you’ll find somewhere to celebrate to St Patrick’s Day. This normally involves drinking Guinness and wearing a lot of green, but you don’t have to get drunk to do St Paddy justice.
You’ll find St Patrick’s celebrations in many cities around the world, wherever there is an Irish diaspora. And in fact, the biggest celebrations aren’t even in Ireland!
In the home of St Patrick’s day it’s a public holiday and that does normally mean a trip to a pub. But Dublin has a parade which attracts around 100,000 visitors and is a lively and friendly affair, not always as drunken as you’d assume. Expect music, performances and lots of crazy Irish themed costumes (tip: don’t come as a leprechaun! Lots of green face paint should suffice for any visitor). The parade normally starts at Parnell Square, heads down O’Connell Street ending outside St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The UK’s large Irish population (and those of Irish descent) means the event is a lively one, especially in London. Most pubs will hang green bunting and get extra barrels of Guinness in, in anticipation of the inevitable roaring trade. London’s St Patrick’s day parade starts in Piccadilly and heads down the road to Trafalgar Square where the main festivities are. There’s usually a big stage with live acts, booming music, food and of course drink. It’s a big affair with around 125,000 people attending the parade itself.
New York City, USA
With a massive Irish diaspora (apparently there’s more Irish in New York than in Ireland itself), this is the biggest of the St Paddy’s day parades with around 2 million people attending. Making it’s way along 5th Avenue from 44th street to 79nd street, expect marching bands, pagentry and all the Irish pride to be on enthusiastic display.
Of course, there are hundreds of Irish bars across town where you can also find the standard raucous celebrations and all day drinking so you don’t need to head into Manhattan to celebrate. Brooklyn has it’s own St Patrick’s day parade too between Prospect Park West and down to 15th Street.
Although there isn’t an annual St Patrick’s day parade or festival in Australia, you will find the event celebrated widely. With such a large Irish community across the country you’ll find local events from Perth to Brisbane to Sydney – usually in pubs or community centres. In 2018, Melbourne hosts an annual Irish festival with a more family themed background including music and events for kids.
Chile has a strong historical link to Ireland, believe it or not. In fact, several of their national heroes such as Bernado O’Higgins (who has a street named after him in nearly every town) and Patricio Lynch are of Irish origin. Although not of the size and enthusiasm of the London or New York celebrations, there are Irish events across the country including the capital Santiago. Head to the Irish pubs in town Flannery’s and California Cantina (not the most Irish name) for all the usual festivities including music, food, drink and dancing…
Cape Town, South Africa
Those Irish do get everywhere! Cape Town doesn’t have a parade as such but there are events all over the city to celebrate the day, mostly at pubs and bars. You can get the full listings for St Patrick’s day events in South Africa here.
As the global city it is, of course Bangkok has a buzzing St Patrick’s day vibe. The Thais never resist the opportunity to party so they take to the event with plenty of gusto. There are Irish pubs across the city including several branches of Flann O’Briens, Mulligans on Khao San Road and The Drunken Leprechaun in the Sheraton on Sukhumvit Road, all of which will have the Irish welcome laid on for all.
Munich & Berlin, Germany
They like beer over in Germany, so why not celebrate St Paddy’s day too? In fact, the St Patrick’s day parade in Munich is now one of the biggest in Europe with around 15,000 participants and many more spectators. Starting at Münchner Freiheit and heading to Odeonsplatz, there is music, dancing, food and of course, beer.
Berlin’s parade is smaller but still lively with around 5,000 participants on the parade. The parade starts at Plänterwald S-Bahn and heads to Eichenstrasse.
Wherever you are celebrating have a great St Patrick’s day and have a pint of the black stuff for us!
Ready to get in the St Patrick’s day spirit? Check flights on our handy widget below…