Saint Patrick’s Day – How About Celebrations Around The World?

Saint Patricks Day 2023

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming soon. Celebrations during this holiday are varied. Let’s hop on and find out how people from other countries celebrate this wonderful day!


In the ninth and tenth centuries, the Irish in Europe were already celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day as a sort of national holiday. He gained more recognition as Ireland‘s patron in later years. The influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s led to the inclusion of Saint Patrick’s feast day on the general liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church.

As a result, Irish Roman Catholics were obliged to observe Saint Patrick’s Day as a holy day. Additionally, the Church of Ireland, a member of the global Anglican Communion, celebrates a feast day on this day. The saint’s day is moved outside of specific times on the church calendar so that saints’ feasts are not observed during particular solemnities.

This requirement occasionally affects St. Patrick’s Day when March 17 falls during Holy Week. In order to avoid falling on Palm Sunday, Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated on 3 April 1940. This also occurred in 2008, when it was celebrated on 15 March. The next time St. Patrick’s Day falls during Holy Week is in 2160. The well-liked celebrations may nonetheless take place on March 17 or a weekend close to the feast day.

St. Patrick’s Day was made a recognized holiday in Ireland in 1903. James O’Mara, an Irish member of the United Kingdom Parliament, introduced the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, which is to blame for this.

In 1903, Waterford hosted Ireland’s inaugural St. Patrick’s Day parade. The Gaelic League had proclaimed the week surrounding St. Patrick’s Day in 1903 as Irish Language Week, and Waterford decided to celebrate with a procession on Sunday, March 15. The Mayor, officials of the Waterford Corporation, the Trades Hall, several trade unions, and bands, including the “Barrack St Band” and the “Thomas Francis Meagher Band,” participated in the parade.

The march started at the Gaelic League’s offices in George’s St. and ended in People’s Park, where the mayor and other officials addressed the crowd. The majority of Waterford businesses, including bars, were closed on Tuesday, March 17 while marching bands continued their parade from the previous day. The Waterford Trades Hall has emphasized the importance of observing the National Holiday.

The Irish Volunteers, a paramilitary group of Irish nationalists, organized parades on St. Patrick’s Day 1916 all around Ireland. The police reported 6,000 marchers in 38 St. Patrick’s Day parades, about half of them were reportedly armed. The Easter Rising against British rule was started by the Irish Volunteers the following month. This signaled the start of the Irish Revolutionary Era, which brought about the Irish War of Independence and the American Civil War. Although St. Patrick’s Day was occasionally chosen as the date for sizable political rallies, there were few St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Ireland at this time.

After the founding of the Irish Free State, the festivities remained low-key; the only state-sponsored event was a military procession and trooping of the colors, as well as an Irish-language mass attended by government ministers. Although it was still permitted in Northern Ireland, the Irish Free State government outlawed the sale of alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day in 1927. The restriction was lifted only in 1961.

In Dublin, the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade was held under governmental sponsorship in 1931. On St. Patrick’s Day, parades have been canceled across the Republic of Ireland three times, each time due to health and safety concerns. St. Patrick’s Day events were moved to May in 2001 as a precaution against the foot-and-mouth outbreak, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was completely canceled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival 2021 organizers will host online activities from all over Ireland on their SPF TV channel.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Northern Ireland was hampered by sectarian strife. The majority of people were Protestant Ulster unionists who identified as British, while a sizeable minority identified as Catholic Irish nationalists. Although it was a holiday, the unionist administration of Northern Ireland did not formally celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Public St. Patrick’s Day festivities were uncommon and tended to be connected with the Catholic community during the Troubles (the late 1960s–late 1990s). Four civilians were killed and numerous more were hurt when loyalists exploded a vehicle bomb outside a pub in Dungannon that was packed with Catholics celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Protestant unionists did make an effort to “re-claim” the holiday, and the Orange Order had its own St. Patrick’s Day march in 1985. Thousands of people have seen cross-community St. Patrick’s Day parades in communities across Northern Ireland since the conflict ended in 1998.

On March 17, 1996, the first St. Patrick’s Festival took place. It expanded to a three-day tournament in 1997, then a four-day event in 2000. By 2006, the festival lasted for five days, and the 2009 parade drew more than 675,000 spectators. Nearly 1 million people attended the five-day festival in 2009 overall, taking part in events like concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks. The centerpiece of the St. Patrick’s event was the Skyfest, which took place from 2006 to 2012.

The 2004 St. Patrick’s Symposium’s theme was “Talking Irish,” and topics covered included the nature of Irish identity, the country’s economic achievements, and the future. Instead of an identity based on a traditional religious or ethnic devotion, there has been more focus since 1996 on celebrating and portraying a fluid and inclusive sense of “Irishness.” Irish language speakers typically use more Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge during the week around St. Patrick’s Day (“Irish Language Week”).

Irish Christian authorities have voiced alarm over the secularization of St. Patrick’s Day. It is time to restore St. Patrick’s Day as a church holiday, Fr. Vincent Twomey stated in The Word magazine’s March 2007 issue. He questioned the necessity of “mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry” and came to the conclusion that “it is time to bring the piety and the fun together.”

In Downpatrick, County Down, where Saint Patrick is reputed to be buried, there are the largest celebrations outside of the cities. In the past, Dripsey in County Cork hosted the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the entire world. The parade, which only lasted 23.4 meters, went between the two bars in the village. When one of the two pubs closed, the yearly celebration ended after five years of existence.

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Celebrations In Other Countries.


Following Queen Alexandra‘s introduction of the custom in 1901, the British Royals in England have a practice of giving bowls of shamrock to soldiers from the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army. The Duchess of Cambridge has given the Irish Guards shamrock bowls every year since 2012.

Male royals have also taken on the function of presenting the bowls of shamrock, including King George VI in 1950 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Irish Guards and the Duke of Cambridge in 2016 in place of his wife. Regardless of where they are stationed, fresh Shamrocks are flown in from Ireland and presented to the Irish Guards.

While there were some open Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in Britain prior to the 1960s, this would change after the IRA began its bombing campaign on British soil. As a result, there was a growing suspicion of all things Irish and those who supported them, which led to people of Irish descent wearing a shamrock on Saint Patrick’s Day in private or attending certain events. People of Irish origin publicly wear a sprig of shamrock today, many years after the Good Friday Agreement, to honor their Irishness.

His feast day is observed by several Christian denominations in Great Britain, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.

The Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Birmingham, which covers a two-mile (3-kilometer) circuit through the city center, is the biggest one in Britain. After Dublin and New York, the organizers rank it as the third-largest parade in the world.

Since 2002, there has been a Saint Patrick’s Day parade in London. It normally takes place in Trafalgar Square on the weekends surrounding the 17th. The water in the fountains in Trafalgar Square was colored green in 2008. The COVID-19 epidemic forced the cancellation of the Parade in 2020.

Of all the English cities, Liverpool has the largest percentage of people having Irish ancestry. As a result, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been a time for music, cultural activities, and parades.

A two-week Irish festival is held in Manchester in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. The festival spans a two-week period and features a big parade, an Irish Market at the city’s town hall that flies the Irish tricolor next to the Union Flag, as well as several educational and cultural activities.


In Russia, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade happened in 1992. In Moscow and other Russian cities, there has been an annual “Saint Patrick’s Day” festival since 1999. The formal portion of the Moscow parade, which is a military-style procession, is organized in conjunction with the Irish embassy in Moscow. Volunteers organize the unofficial procession, which resembles a carnival.

Saint Patrick’s Day was observed on March 17 during the 2014 edition of Moscow Irish Week, which ran from March 12 to March 23. The Irish Embassy, the Moscow City Government, and other organizations hosted approximately 70 events honoring Irish culture throughout Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, and Volgograd.

The feast day of Saint Patrick was introduced to the Russian Orthodox Church’s liturgical calendar in 2017 and will be observed on March 30.


Saint Patrick’s Day events and parades are held in the town center of the Scottish town of Coatbridge, where the bulk of the population is of Irish heritage.

Due mostly to Irish immigration during the 19th century, Glasgow has a sizeable Irish community. Over 100,000 more people were added to Glasgow’s population as a result of this immigration. Due to Glasgow’s sizable Irish community, there are numerous Irish-themed bars and organizations that celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day every year. Since 2007, Glasgow has hosted an annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade and festival.


While Saint Patrick’s Day is often observed in Switzerland on March 17 with activities akin to those in nearby central European nations, it is common for Swiss students to host celebrations in their own apartments on Saint Patrick’s Eve. Those in Zurich’s Kreis 4 are typically the most well-liked. Additionally, traditionally, attendees bring drinks and dress in green.


Montreal, whose city flag features a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant, hosts one of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in North America each year. Since 1929, the United Irish Societies of Montreal have organized the annual event. Since 1824, the parade has been held every year without fail. But St. Patrick’s Day itself has been observed in Montreal since at least 1759 when Irish soldiers served in the Montreal Garrison after the British had conquered New France.

In Saint John, New Brunswick Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a week-long celebration. There is an Irish festival honoring Saint John’s Irish heritage not long after the JP Collins Celtic Festival. The celebration is named in honor of James Patrick Collins, a young Irish doctor who worked at the quarantine facility on Partridge Island in Saint John County before passing away there. Collins treated ailing Irish immigrants.

An annual three-day celebration of music and culture centered around St. Patrick’s Day is organized in Manitoba by the Irish Association of Manitoba.

To honor the Celtic Nations and their customs, the CelticFest Vancouver Society organized its first annual celebration in downtown Vancouver in 2004. Every year, the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day is when this celebration, which included a parade, takes place.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Calgary Tower replaced the green CFL bulbs in its top exterior lights in March 2009. The green signified environmental concerns and was a component of the Project Porchlight campaign of an environmental non-profit organization. To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, about 210 lights were modified to mimic a leprechaun’s hat. White CFLs took their place after a week. The Calgary Tower was predicted to save about $12,000 and emit 104 tonnes fewer greenhouse gases as a result of the move.

United States.

Although Saint Patrick’s Day is not a recognized holiday in the US, it is nonetheless widely acknowledged and celebrated as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture across the nation. There are several parades, religious ceremonies, large displays of the color green, and enormous amounts of alcohol consumed during the festivities. Since 1601, the holiday has been observed in what is now the United States.

The grandest parade in the world, which was scheduled to take place in New York City in 2020, was postponed for the first time in more than 250 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand.

Along with St. George’s Day (England) and St. Andrew’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day was recognized as a public holiday in New Zealand from 1878 to 1955. (Scotland). In the 1850s and 1860s, Auckland saw a large influx of Irish immigrants, and it was here that some of the first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which frequently involved organizing community picnics, took place.

But starting in the late 1860s, this quickly changed to include organizing parades with pipe bands and children marching in green, as well as athletic events, concerts, balls, and other social gatherings where people proudly showcased their Irish heritage. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed in New Zealand with festivals and parades on weekends on or around March 17 even though it is no longer recognized as a public holiday.


Nowadays, St. Patrick’s Day parades are held all across Japan. The Irish Network Japan (INJ) organized the first march in Tokyo in 1992.

Since 1976, the Irish Association of Korea has held a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in Seoul, the nation’s capital. Itaewon and Daehangno will no longer host the parade and festival; instead, Cheonggyecheon will now host them.

The largest Saint Patrick’s Day event in Asia is held annually in Malaysia by the St. Patrick’s Society of Selangor, which was founded in 1925. Additionally, 36 parties are organized by Guinness Anchor Berhad all across the nation in locations like the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru, Malacca, Ipoh, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, and Kuching.

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