St Patrick’s Day Across Europe
St Patrick’s Day is probably the most celebrated festival worldwide, only beaten in enthusiasm and numbers by Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So what will you do to mark the most Irish of festivals on 17th March this year? The green theme is rife around the world with Chicago dyeing its river green and famous landmarks across the globe turning green to commemorate Ireland’s patron saint. This is a tradition started in Dublin but it has quickly caught on:
Wherever you may be in Europe there will undoubtedly be some Irish pubs having a party so you won’t miss out. However, if you are looking for something special we have put together a list of some of the more unusual and weird St Patrick’s Day traditions in Europe to tempt you into travelling:
How the Irish do it:
If you happen to be in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day the best thing to do to blend in is wear something green, sport a shamrock lapel pin or have a drink with a traditional toast like “may the roof above us never fall in” and “may we friends beneath it never fall out”. The parade in Dublin is an absolute must if you are anywhere near the city on 17th March. Another tradition is the greening of some of Dublin’s buildings.
Here are the top places to visit, if you are in Dublin in March!
London is a great city for a parade and the St Patrick’s Day one is supreme. It starts out at Green Park (not far from Buckingham Place) and finishes at Trafalgar Square. This is when the real party starts with traditional entertainers, food stalls and more green hats and shamrocks than you can shake a stick at, so head to Trafalgar Square for all the action.
Along with many parties in Irish pubs across the country there will also be parades and festivals. Barcelona celebrates St Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish Regatta. Little rowing boats, called Currachs, will compete against each other in races on the waterfront. You will feel like you are in Ireland with traditional dancing and music as well as food and drink to top it off.
One of the more unusual St Patrick’s Day events is a three legged charity race held in Copenhagen. The race is sponsored by Carlsberg and local Irish pubs and raises huge amounts for worthy causes every year. This year even the Little Mermaid will be sporting a suitable outfit on St Patrick’s Day as she will be lit up green for the day.
Even as far away as Russia, Norway and Sweden St Patrick’s Day is remembered with dance festivals and parades. Last year in The Hague, Netherlands a flash mob entertained shoppers with an awesome impromptu Riverdance like show.