In these 5 cities St. Patrick's Day turns into a real spectacle
From Chicago to Tokyo, St. Patrick's Day is no longer celebrated only in Ireland.
March 17, 2023
Back to the source: Dublin, Ireland
It's that time again. The St. Patrick's Festival returns to Dublin from March 16 to 19, 2023, and enchants all ages with a colorful program of events. It's not all about green hats and Guinness, rather the country's rich culture is celebrated. The official holiday is March 17, which marks the holy day of St. Patrick. More specifically, St. Patrick's Day commemorates the anniversary of the death of Ireland's patron saint. One of the best ways to soak up the exuberant mood and true pride of the Irish is to hit the streets. That's because the narrow, cobblestone streets are teeming with motivated and exuberant enthusiasts. But, of course, there is also a well-planned and comprehensive program. March 17 traditionally starts in the morning with a fair followed by a huge parade. The days around the actual holiday also completely evolve around the large festival. A four-day program including live music, parades, family entertainment and a lot of celebration immerses the entire city and its visitors in a green spectacle.
Immensely impressive: Chicago, USA
Almost as well known as the birthplace of St. Patrick's Day in Ireland is nowadays the US city of Chicago. For here, the Chicago River is bathed in an incredible shamrock green in the most impressive way as part of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade always takes place on a Saturday. If St. Patrick's Day does not fall on a Saturday, the parade is held the Saturday before. This iconic dyeing ceremony made its way around the world and is considered THE highlight of the parade in "the Windy-City" of Illinois. Not only the river shines in a spectacular green, but also the streets, people and food. Besides typical Irish dishes, green colored beer is served. That is worth a photo in any case! If you want the celebrations to end in the evening, Chicago is the place to be on St. Patrick's Day, because there are plenty of party locations for like-minded people.
Solid & traditional: Toronto, Canada
In addition to the typical St. Patrick's Day parade, Toronto also celebrates the Grand Marshal Ball. The St. Patrick's Parade Society is considered the keeper of Irish tradition in Canada and responsible for many events surrounding the green holiday. Thus, they are also the organizers of the grand ball, which will open in 2023 in honor of Jack Armstrong. The legendary sportscaster is the son of Irish immigrants and began his career as an announcer for the Toronto Raptors in the fall of 1998. But that's not the only thing Toronto has to offer on this green holiday. Parties are thrown, beer is tapped, bars are opened and various events are sounded with live music. In addition to the big parade and the traditional ball, the Toronto St. Patrick's Day King Street Club Crawl and various block parties are on the agenda, as well.
Simply authentic: London, England
Unlike in Ireland and Northern Ireland, St. Patrick's Day in England is not a public holiday, yet it is celebrated accordingly. Adorned with bright green hats, flags or other accessories, London revelers remember a piece of Irish history. The Mayor of London's annual St. Patrick's Day Festival draws thousands of enthusiasts to England's capital to follow the colorful goings-on. The highlight of the festival is the parade, which stretches from Hyde Park Corner through St. James's Street, Pall Mall and Cockspur Street to Whitehall. That the Irish are the true experts when it comes to celebrating, the English know and step on March 17 and the days before these great footsteps. And they do so with flying colors!
Whimsical & unexpected: Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo: perhaps a rather unexpected city to ring in the Irish holiday. The Tokyo St. Patrick's Day Parade was first taken up and implemented by the Irish Network Japan in 1992. At that time, the goal was to bring the culture of the yet distant Ireland closer to the people in Japan. Afterwards, this idea developed into a true spectacle in somewhat bizarre surroundings. Together with the I Love Ireland Festival, which also takes place on St. Patrick's Day weekend, the parade is known as Japan's largest Irish event. The first stop of the event is the Irish Cultural Festival at Yoyogi Park Events Square. Here, traditional music and dance performances are on the program, as well as Irish food trucks and booths with various delicacies in honor of the holiday. Local Irish pubs also open their doors to party-enthusiastic Ireland lovers, serving Irish beer and whiskey. St. Patrick's Day in Tokyo, Asia's largest Ireland festival!