“May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks and may your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours, that stay with you all the year long.”
The Irish culture is full of quotes, prayers, proverbs, rituals, traditions, and toasts, and many have been used by people of non-Irish descent for centuries. This becomes all too apparent with the biggest Irish cultural tradition to be adopted by the world, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Dublin, Ireland isn’t the only city that goes all out these days. In fact, many countries across the globe celebrate the day in their own unique way.
As expected, St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty huge deal in Ireland. It’s more of a religious holiday there though, such as Easter or Christmas. Most in Ireland start the day with going to mass, but after that they head in droves to their local city and town parades. The parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five day festival celebrating the holiday. The days are filled with food, drinks, music, dancing, and a wide variety of activities and events.
Fun Fact: Although it is commonly said that St. Patrick is known for driving the snakes out of Ireland, that isn’t actually true. He is known for bringing the Christian faith to Ireland and converting Irish Pagans. There were never any snakes in Ireland!
Surprisingly, the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world does not take place in Ireland, but in New York City. Over 100,000 people participate in the parade and over 1.5 million spectators come out and line the streets to watch.
Across the country, Seattle celebrates St Patrick’s Day in grand style, with a full week of activities. Festivities kick off with the proclamation of Irish Week. Due to Seattle’s northern state climates, like Ireland, the city received many Irish immigrants, so many that Seattle and Galway are sister cities. The annual Irish Week Festival is enormous, including Irish step dancing, food, historical and modern exhibitions, and Irish lessons.
The U.S. isn’t the only country that rings in the holiday in a grandiose manner. In the UK, Manchester hosts a two week festival in the weeks prior to St. Patrick’s Day that includes an Irish Market at the town’s city hall, flying the Irish tricolor opposite the Union Flag, a large parade, and an assortment of cultural events.
Florence, Italy hosts “Festa Irlandese,” a 10 day festival where thousands of people gather to consume Italian interpretations of Irish drinks and dishes, such as potato soup, beef in Guinness, and gallons of stout (of course).
In true New Orleans fashion, their parade is the jazziest of them all and has colorful costumed characters and float riders throwing spectators strings of beads, cabbages, and potatoes. (We think that one might hurt a little).
Tokyo has it’s own parade on Omotesando Avenue organized by the Irish Network Japan (INJ) and has been an annual tradition for nearly 25 years. There are a growing number of Irish Pubs in Tokyo and they send people out to the parades to hand out vouchers for free beer. Who could say no to that?!
For those who will be staying right here in Columbus, Ohio this St. Patrick’s Day instead of in one of these exciting cities, fear not. Columbus has plenty of ways for you to celebrate.
- Flannagan’s Big Tent St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on the 17th – includes a 5k run and early morning breakfast. If you still have energy to burn, try the Blarney Bash on the 18th with live music, dancing, and drinks and food for sale.
- Fado Irish Pub at Easton- Live Bands and a Beer Garden…need we say more? Tickets are required for this one, so be sure to buy early! http://bit.ly/2mBngbs
- Dublin, Ohio St. Patrick’s Day Celebration- Free Admission and Family Fun! To find out more about the festivities, click here http://bit.ly/2lhMpHG.
- St. Patrick’s Day Irish Stroll Bar Crawl- What better way to celebrate than with a bar crawl? Join others in the Short North for a night of green merriment! http://bit.ly/2lIrslu
- St(itch) Patrick’s Sit & Stitch- Looking for a laid back and relaxing evening without the booze? Yarn It & Haberdashery is inviting those looking for a calmer night to join them on the 17th! http://bit.ly/2mkgHsU
Whether you’re out on the town, hanging out with friends, or spending a quiet evening in, we wish you a safe, fun, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!!