You better believe everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day. From Korea to St. Croix, from Oslo to Sydney on March 17, everyone celebrates the Irish.
Here's a look at some of the celebrations that will be taking place around the globe this year.
Montreal has the oldest St Patrick’s Day Parade in North America dating back 1824. The celebration begins with a huge replica of St. Patrick leading the procession of floats, bands, community and cultural groups.
Some groups in Canada have even lobbied to make St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday. It has been celebrated in the city dating back to 1759, which marked the conquest of the Montreal Garrison by Irish soldiers.
Birmingham holds the largest parade in England and supposedly the world’s third largest behind New York and Dublin. The parade runs on a two mile route through the city’s center. It’s a very eclectic parade mirroring the city’s diverse culture including Dhol drummers and Samba drummers. More traditional fare like dancing schools and pipe and drum bands are also present.
St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday on the “Emerald Island of the Caribbean.” It’s nicknamed that because of all the Irish immigrants from St. Kitts and Nevis who founded the island.
St. Patrick’s Day on the island dates back a failed slave uprising in 1768, and even holds a commemoration of the event on March 17. The island flavor is incorporated into St. Patrick’s Day with parades calypso, soca, and iron band music.
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in St. Croix dates back to the first celebration of the holiday on the island in 1969. The initial parade entailed a piano on a flatbed truck along with revelers singing on the “float” and people looking on and waving along the improvised route.
There is a contest for the parade participants celebrating the spirit of the day by recognizing hest costume, youth group, most unique wheels, and the highly coveted best of the best.
5. Oslo, Norway
The Irish Norwegian community celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a parade that runs right through the center of Oslo. The parade works it way through shopping streets, past Oslo Cathedral and on to Town Hall Square. St. Patrick rides in a horse drawn cart along with other colorful Irish characters.
This parade is the only one held in Germany and is distinguished as the largest in continental Europe. It is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and is a two kilometer parade snaking its way through the city. It takes place a week after March 17 and is an open air party with live music and dance performances.
The first parade in Russia’s history took place in the capital city. This parade felt like a Russian cultural festival complete with marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and 15 floats representing Russian companies. The parade has grown and become more sophisticated with international participants and companies like Pepsi and Guinness.
8. Seoul, South Korea
The local Irish community gathers in Daehakro and forms a parade that goes down the main street. Parade members include ex-pat sports teams, the Irish community and Korean marching bands.
There is a St. Patrick’s Day parade every year in Omote Sando dating back to 1992, as 2,000 celebrants march down Omotesande Avenue to the waves and cheers of 7,000 spectators. Japanese and Irish flags line the route. The parade takes place this year on March 13.
One of the warmest places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, on March 21 a parade runs through Sydney with all 32 Irish counties represented. The theme this year is “Book of Kells,” and costumes, groups, music and floats will exhibit this theme. The parade provides a public and cultural event to showcase Irish culture and heritage to both the city of Sydney and the world.
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