St. Patrick’s Day is a global celebration. People may first associate St. Patrick’s Day parades and parties with the Emerald Isle and various North American cities, such as New York, Boston and Chicago, that boast high concentrations of Irish immigrants, but there are some surprising and far-flung places across the globe geared up for festivities come March 17.
Few may think of a tiny Caribbean island when envisioning St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. However, Montserrat, known as part of the island chain called the British West Indies, is the only country in the world apart from Ireland in which St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Montserrat celebrates on March 17. But these celebrations are conducted in memory of an unsuccessful slave revolt against Europeans who colonized the island in the 17th century. Now, St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated by a week-long festival of independence.
Premiering in 1992, the Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day parade is the largest of several parades that take place throughout Japan. The Tokyo parade began as a way to introduce Ireland and Irish culture to Japan. Today, it features a mix of traditional Japanese dress interspersed with Irish costumes.
Chicago is not the only city to dye a river green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. According to Asia One, the Singapore River also is dyed a bright hue of green. Singapore also hosts a parade in honor of St. Patrick.
Each year, New Zealand’s largest city is the first city in the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because the clock strikes midnight there on March 17 before any other locale in the world. Even though Auckland is the furthest away from Ireland, its festivities are still impressive. The St. Patrick’s Festival Auckland includes the lighting of the 1,076-foot Sky Tower in the green, white and orange synonymous with the Irish Tricolour flag.
Want to find an authentic Irish village? Travel no further than Dubai. For many years, Irish pubs around Dubai have been emblazoned in green lights as celebrants enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with stout and song. Time Out Dubai says that, for the past decade, Boomtown Rats front man Bob Geldof has played a St. Patrick’s Day gig in Dubai’s Irish Village.
Each year, the Norwegian Irish Society hosts Norway’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Jernbanetorget, a large public square in Oslo. The parade kicks off an all-inclusive celebration of Irish culture in Scandinavia.
Ireland, the United States and Canada are known for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But this beloved holiday is celebrated at many additional locations around the world.