This Saturday it will be St Patricks Day. I’m sure you’re all aware of what that is, but for those of you who don’t, it is a day that commemorates Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland. Although it was originally only a religious celebration it has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.
Let’s be honest though, these days St Patricks Day is more a day to wear a ridiculous amount of green and to drink an even more ridiculous amount of Guinness – I certainly won’t be complaining about that though.
For a multitude of reasons throughout Ireland’s long history, the people of Ireland have emigrated to various places all over the globe, taking with them their culture and the celebration of St Patricks Day. The Irish diaspora is so great that St. Patricks Day is now probably the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.
So what is happening around the world this St Patricks Day? Let’s find out.
Nearly every American I have ever met has told me they are either part Scottish or part Irish so I suppose it’s to be expected that Americans perhaps take St Patricks Day even more seriously than the Irish. In reality America has 10 times as many Irish descendants than Ireland itself! A lot of those Irish descendants reside in NYC and every St Patricks day they parade down 5th Avenue, over 150,000 marchers take part every year.
It’s far away from Ireland, but Hong Kong was a part of the British Empire for over a hundred years up until 1997 when it was reunified with China, but Hong Kong still has a large expat community and as the old saying goes where there’s expats there’s an Irish Pub. They even have a St Patrick’s Society founded in 1931. Check out Time Out Hong Kong for the best places to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
Is there anywhere that doesn’t have an Irish Pub? Even in the UAE, where drinking is not exactly a popular after-hours activity, there are enough Irish expats on regular flights to Dubai for there to be a whole Irish Village.
This year St Patricks Day celebrations at the Irish Village will be spread over 3 days. Bob Geldof kicks things off on the 15th, followed by another two days of music food and high jigs.
Known as “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”, Montserrat is the only other country outside of Ireland where St Patricks Day is an official public holiday. Things have already kicked off in Montserrat as they celebrate St Patrick’s week, that this year runs from the 10th to the 19th of March – which according to my calculations is a little longer than a week, but hey. Montserrats Irish heritage dates back to the 17th century at a time when Irish Catholics where being persecuted on other Caribbean islands.
Come on if you really want to celebrate St Patricks day is this not the place to be? Dublin hotels are no doubt jam packed for St Patricks Day, but it will be a whole load of fun with four days’ worth of Irish activities and whole load of Guinness.
Personally I’m gonna be in Glasgow, Scotland, for St Patrick’s Day, but where ever you find yourself I hope it’s great craic, have fun.
Where are you going to be for St Patrick’s Day? Tell us in the comments below.