The Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around the World
St. Patrick’s Day immediately brings to mind several iconic celebrations: the million-plus people at the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Chicago River running Kelly green on March 17, and the fun and debauchery that takes place in South Boston. But as they say, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and some of the best celebrations around the world take place outside of areas traditionally known for their Irish heritage. If you’re looking to don your green and grab a little luck of the Irish for yourself, you can’t beat the parties at these international destinations.
A tiny island in the Caribbean may not scream St. Patrick’s Day to you, but it’s the only place in the world outside of Ireland where March 17 is a public holiday. The holiday has a dual focus among the people of Montserrat. At its core is a celebration of a 17th-century slave revolt that led to Montserrat’s freedom from European rule. However, those same Europeans also brought Irish traditions and Catholicism with them to the island, which remain a key part of the culture on the island.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are a relatively new phenomenon in Germany. What started just over 20 years ago as a small party among friends has grown into a city-wide celebration in Munich. More than 15,000 people gather to celebrate in the streets over the three-day weekend that precedes March 17. The parade is one of the largest in Europe on St. Patrick’s Day and shuts down Leopoldstrasse, the major thoroughfare through the city. Bars forgo the standard German beers for the celebration, so grab a Guinness and join the fun.
The parade in Singapore is the largest in Southeast Asia on St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps as a tip of the hat to the celebration slightly farther west in Chicago, part of the Singapore River is dyed green for the festivities. You’ll find a mix of activities, from traditional bar crawls to healthier, family-friendly celebrations of Irish culture and dancing organized by the St. Patrick’s Day Society of Singapore.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Love the Boom Town Rats and front man Bob Geldof? Then you’re going to love the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dubai. Geldoff headlines a gig every year on St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Village in Dubai. The three-day festival includes a family fun day with face painting, a petting zoo and a bouncy house. Keep in mind that drinking alcohol is public is illegal in Dubai unless you are in a licensed establishment such as a bar or restaurant.
Muscovites really love St. Patrick’s Day, and embrace both the superficial trappings common in other cities as well as Irish culture. The centerpiece is Irish Week, which features the Moscow Irish Film Festival and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. After watching some classic, blockbuster and critically acclaimed Irish cinema, take to the streets for a parade replete with Cossack riders on horseback, marching bands and, of course, green beer.