Eight International St. Patrick's Day Celebrations You Probably Didn't Know About

st. patttySt. Patrick’s Day parade in Montreal

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, I figured what better time to talk about the greenest day on the calendar.Nowadays it seems like just about everyone outside of Ireland’s celebrates the Irish holiday with a festive St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Yes we all know about the bigger parades in cities like Dublin, Boston and New York City.

But did you know that pretty much every part of the globe celebrates this festive day in which it is socially acceptable to drink green beer, face your paint with shamrocks and sing Black 47 tunes while chomping on corned beef and cabbage?! Here are just a few interesting notes about some lesser known St. Patty’s Day festivities.

  • Since 1824, Montreal has held a very popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade each March 17, making it the longest running Patty’s parade in Canada. But the tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Montreal can be traced back even further to 1759, when Irish soldiers would celebrate the religious holidays with a pint…or twelve.
  • Speaking of Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays wear special green uniforms every March 17 during their spring training games. Quick fact, blue was the original colour celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day. It later changed over time to green, due to people wearing shamrocks on their clothing that day.
  • You think New York parties hard on St. Patrick’s Day? Try visiting Manchester, England where they start throwing down suds two weeks prior to March 17.
  • Montserrat, is dubbed “the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”, due to its founders being of Irish descent. This little island is one of only three places in the world that has made St. Patrick’s Day an actual holiday. The two other include Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland.  Guinness, the makers of the single greatest alcoholic beverage on the planet, have been trying unsuccessfully to make 3-17 a world holiday.
  • Uruguay celebrates March 17th in a much warmer climate. Downtown Montevideo is filled with the sounds of Irish music and party goers dressed in green that drink until the sun comes up.
  • New Orleans blends St. Patrick’s Day with their own Mardi Gras flair each 17th day of March. Women are seen flashing for not just beads…but actual potatoes and cabbages. Only in Na’lens!
  • The shortest parade route for a St. Patrick’s Day parade is in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Nearly 10,000 people attend this event that spans just one single city block.
  • St. Patrick’s celebrations have even made it all the way to China! The St. Patrick’s “Irish Week” kicks off a few days prior to the big day. The Irish population is actually on the rise in China and is becoming quite popular in the care-free neighbourhood of Xintiandi.

Wherever St. Patrick’s Day finds you, please do me a favour and have at least one Guinness for me. Cheers!

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