St. Patrick’s Day is the one day of the year where everyone you meet is Irish. Over the last few years, it has become more and more of an international event with celebrations taking place in every corner of the globe.
Since leaving Ireland in 2009, we have pulled on whatever green clothes were in the backpacks and celebrated in countries like South Korea, Nepal and Thailand.
Having found ourselves in such unusual locations celebrating Paddy’s Day, we thought it would be a good idea to ask other travel bloggers “Where is the best/strangest place you’ve spent Paddy’s Day?”
From Africa to Australia, celebrating Paddy’s Day is possible no matter what corner of the globe you are in.
So, dress yourself in green, round up your friends an be as Irish as you can be this St. Patrick’s Day!
Paddy’s Day in New York
St Patrick’s Day in New York City is an experience we won’t soon forget. First comes the parade and boy the bars are packed solid. Our local would get a complete transformation. All chairs, tables and anything else that wasn’t nailed down would be removed to avoid damage and to make as much space as possible. People would stream in until they were packed like sardines and drinking wouldn’t stop until the wee hours.
For more from Nat and Tim visit A Cook Not Mad.
Paddy’s Day in Chicago
Chicago is the craziest St Paddy’s Celebration I have ever seen in my life and God knows I have seen some parties in my life! Not only do they have an outstanding parade and every single person in the city wears green, kisses strangers and drinks beer from 9am.
No, that is not enough for Chicago! They have to do something special, so every single year they paint the river green! Crazy! But it looks spectacular! I actually have a funny story about this.
When I arrived in the city the lady in the reception of my hotel said, please remember tomorrow we’re gonna paint the river green… and I was like: “Isn’t it already green?” She started laughing at me and said: “Yes it is green but it will be painted even greener for St Paddy’s Day, trust me, you will love it!”
And I did, it is totally insane what they do in this city to celebrate!
For more from Marysia visit My Travel Affairs.
Paddy’s Day in Australia
Growing up in the same county where St. Patrick is buried (County Down in Northern Ireland), it’s always a bit of a crazy experience on my travels going to celebrate this day.
For me a lot of the day out involves educating people about St. Patrick around the world as most people think it’s all about Guinness and dressing in green! But I like to talk about the part this Welsh saint played in Irish life long before we had the island split and long before Guinness was the number one product. That said, you can’t beat a few pints of Guinness and any excuse to dress in green and enjoy a bit of craic.
My craziest St. Patrick’s Day ever was in Australia in 2011 when I was working in an Irish Pub in Parramatta. I dressed as a pint of Guinness for part of my shift and danced around in an Irish pub posing for photos. At one point I got rugby tackled in the beer garden and went flying. It was a busy shift in work but made all the better as I finished around midnight and joined in the party for the last three hours of Irish madness!
Paddy’s Day in Florida
Imagine 110,000 retirees in one city with nothing but time on their hands and the tendency to slip into an adolescent mentality. Now imagine those same 110,000 retirees with beer, golf carts, and the entire day to plan a party, and you have The Villages’ Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
The main event of their celebration is a parade complete with dozens of decorated golf carts (some driving in stunt formations), hula dancers, cheerleading squads, and clowns all over the age of fifty-five. It’s both frightening and fun at the same time. Even more entertaining is the crowd. Villagers take such great care in their St. Patrick’s Day costumes that they even die their varicose veins green…
St. Patrick’s Day in the The Villages helps further prove it’s a retirement community with a drinking problem. Oh to be retired!
For more from Bryan visit The Wandering Gourmand.
Paddy’s Day in New York
Our favourite St Patrick’s day celebrations were during our time living in New York. The city turned Irish: from the green Empire State Building to the marching bands on 5th Avenue, everyone embraced their Irishness on St Patrick’s day! Our lunch breaks were spent watching the parade and our evenings toasting home with a bad pint of Guinness and a packet of Tayto. Just please, please don’t call it St Patty’s Day!!
For more from Elaine and Dave visit The Whole World Is A Playground.
Paddy’s Day in Africa
In 2009, we spent Paddy’s Day in Kampala, Uganda. We were there as part of a three-month volunteer trip where we spent the time working in some schools and orphanages all around East Africa.
Although it may not be on the top of ‘must-see places’ in the world, it was actually a really cool and memorable experience. There is a pretty large Irish community out there that all congregate on Paddy’s Day – a charity Ireland v England football game, a lavish dinner at the home of the Irish Ambassador and a pub party were just some of the activities that were organised by the dedicated Paddy’s Day committee.
Although we didn’t have the right clothes with us to attend the lavish dinner, we did have fun watching the football and drinking Guinness (first time we’d ever drank it!) at the pub party. They flew an Irish band over all the way from Galway so we danced to favourites like ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘Galway Girl’ and the best thing was that all the locals embraced the atmosphere and were more than happy to throw on a green hat and celebrate with us.
It was a Paddy’s Day well spent we think!
For more from Carlo and Florence visit Next Stop Who Knows.
Paddy’s Day in Chicago
Chicago is hard core on St. Patrick’s Day, they’ve been dyeing the river green for over 50 years! With multiple parades, the city parade draws over 300k people along the route. The pub changed the light bulbs to be green, the hotel had green drinks, the public fountains had green water to name a few. Everywhere you looked was green. Kermit the Frog said “it ain’t easy being green” but in Chicago it’s super easy and fun being green (and Irish) for St. Patrick’s day.
For more from Sue visit Phila Travel Girl.
Bonus: Paddy’s Day in South Korea
Korea was a bizarre place to celebrate Paddy’s day. During our time living and teaching there, we had three St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The most recent was in Daejeon, before that we were in Iksan but the most memorable by far was the very first one in Seoul, the capital city.
The Irish Association of Korea put a big effort into St. Patrick’s Day, the only Irish pub in the country (at the time) gets on board and it was a great, although bitterly cold, day out. We couldn’t believe that they went to such lengths to organise a parade, they had live trad music and Irish dancing on stage. Guinness had a stand, there was a guy going around handing out free shots of Jameson and Irish stew was being served up; what more could you ask for?
We ventured up to the festival from Iksan with friends and had one of our best Paddy’s Day celebrations ever. The Koreans are known as the ‘Irish of Asia’ and with celebrations like this, it’s no surprise!
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- Have you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day somewhere unusual around the world?
- What has been your most memorable Paddy’s Day to date?
Please share in the comments below and wherever you are in the world have a great, green St. Patrick’s Day!
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