How Do People Across the World Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

How do people across the world celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? This year’s unprecedented emerging health crisis has meant that celebrations have changed but where are the top spots to maximize the celebrations of Ireland’s most famous saint and all that is Irish?

It’s not commonly known but the beautiful island of Montserrat in the West Indies is known as at the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ and they commemorate Ireland’s patron saint every year on March 17th along with commemorations of an attempted slave revolt. The scenes are colorful and include masked dancers and costumes. As the Irish were some of Montserrat’s settlers the sense of connection and ‘Irish’ identity is really strong. The celebrations have now stretched in to a full week of revelry and get bigger every year.

Montreal Saint Patrick's Day Festival

Over in Montreal, Canada the celebrations get going even before those in Ireland - they erect an Irish flag every year traditionally outside the Place Ville Marie shopping mall a month before the day -kick starting an ‘Irish season’ which builds up week by week until the big day of celebrations in March. This year the celebrations have been postponed - an historic decision as the three hour parade is the longest-running of its kind in Canada - uninterrupted since 1824!

The UK has many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations but huge areas of Birmingham shut down completely to celebrate the big event. They don’t host the parade on the actual day but it is traditionally held on the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day every year. This year the parade is said to still go ahead despite concerns over coronavirus which makes it one of the only parades to be saved from cancellation but this situation may change.

It’s all about the music in Auckland, New Zealand. There are energetic St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here every year and the big highlight that is attended by people from all over the world is the traditional Irish Fleadh which sees musicians and singers perform outside O’Hagans Irish Pub in Market Square in the beautiful setting of Viaduct Harbour. Guinness is at the center of the celebrations with special offers in all the pubs and the high-profile event attracts people from all over the world. As they put it “the Irish comes out in all of us” on the day.

Saint Patricks Day in Chicago

Traditionally photographed in media all over the world on March 17th, Chicago literally goes green on St. Patrick’s Day when the river goes ‘glas’. The best spot to enjoy this sensation is the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Waker Drive and the Chicago river to see the green water flowing in all its glory. Sadly because of the health and safety risks the iconic dyeing of the river will not go ahead at this point in 2020, officials have announced in a press conference.

Also in the USA Boston is traditionally the most Irish state in America with a fifth of residents claiming Irish ancestry. They go crazy for all things Irish on the day with bacon and cabbage and traditional Irish food being served in restaurants and colorful floats, Irish music and entertainment all featuring in the huge parade. Despite the parade being cancelled, Irish people and those with a love of Ireland still plan to celebrate by wearing green and finding ways to have ‘ceol agus craic’ but in smaller gatherings.

New York St. Patrick’s Day

The New York St. Patrick’s Day parade has been running since 1762 and hosts a massive 2 million people every year - this is the largest event that has been cancelled to date from coronavirus fears. The plan is to still celebrate Ireland’s patron saint with digital events and smaller gatherings all over the city. 

While this year’s March 17th might be a little different, it seems that Ireland’s patron saint is still making an impact all over the world.

Posted on March 13, 2020

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