Although St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, there are plenty of other countries around the world who join in to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
On the Emerald Isle, the 17 March is known as a day of national celebration in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick. However, Ireland is not the only country to join in on the festivities. Here are five countries that surprisingly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Across Ireland, 17 March is generally defined by an abundance of green attire, fun-filled street parades, traditional Irish music, having the ‘craic’ with friends and family, and an awful lot of drinking.
As a country that is home to a large Irish diaspora, the United States is well-known for its Irish-themed festivities – we’re sure you’ve seen the viral photos of Chicago River dyed green for the Irish holiday.
However, with Irish people having immigrated to several different places over the years, there are plenty of countries worldwide that honour the Irish holiday every year – some of which may come as a surprise.
5. Singapore – home to its very own St. Patrick’s Society
First up on our list of countries that surprisingly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is Singapore. The Southeast Asian country has its very own St. Patrick’s Society, composed of mostly Irish ex-pats, who host an annual St. Patrick’s Day Ball at the Shangri-la Hotel.
Various festivities take place across the island city-state, including a parade and street festival, which started in 2006. Moreover, the Singapore River is dyed green, thousands of pints of Guinness are given out for free, and revellers take to the street in their most festive green attire.
4. Russia – Moscow’s St. Patrick’s Parade
The first-ever St. Patrick’s Parade was held in Russia in 1992, and since then, the festivities taking place on 17 March have grown bigger and bigger every year.
Moscow’s St. Patrick’s Parade and Concert is part of their Irish Week celebration, which sees thousands of people take to the streets in their best green attire donning Irish flags.
Part of the reason why Russia joins in on celebrating Ireland’s national holiday is that St. Patrick is recognised by both the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches for converting the Irish from paganism to Christianity.
3. Japan – home to 15 parades
Not only does Japan’s capital city of Tokyo partake in the Irish festivities, but Japan hosts an impressive 15 parades each year to honour Ireland’s patron saint.
Japan is home to the Irish Network Japan Tokyo Parade, the oldest and biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Asia, which was started in 1992.
As one of the countries that surprisingly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Japan offers an abundance of other Irish festivities taking place in Irish pubs, complete with traditional Irish cuisine.
2. Argentina – the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in South America
Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is home to the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in South America. One of the city’s biggest festivities is a street party and parade in the city centre.
Revellers can enjoy food and drink from more than 50 food and beer stands along the Avenida de Mayo while watching the elves, fairies, bagpipers, and Irish dancers in the annual parade.
The city also sees a massive celebration of traditional Irish rock and folk music, including a U2 tribute band, as well as performances from Irish dance troupes, Emerald Dance and Celtic Argentina.
You’ll feel like you’re in Dublin while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on the other side of the world in Buenos Aires’ pubs, including Breoghan Brew, Druid Inn, John John, and The Kilkenny.
1. Montserrat – St. Patrick’s Day in the Caribbean
One of the countries that surprisingly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, an island in the Caribbean.
Irish people constituted the largest proportion of the white population in Montserrat from the founding of the colony in 1628. This historical influence still survives to this day as many of the island’s inhabitants have Irish ancestry.
Montserrat is the only other country aside from Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is recognised as a public holiday.
St Patrick’s Day on the island is celebrated as part of a week of Independence Celebrations during which the people of Montserrat celebrate their independence from colonisation in the 17th-century.
The biggest celebration is the Masquerade, which sees many people on the island wearing colourful hats resembling bishop’s mitres, Irish dancing, and cracking whips in defiance of their colonisers.