Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions around the World

St. Patrick’s Day occurs annually on March 17th to observe the death of St. Patrick, the man responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland. What started out as a religious feast in the 17th Century has evolved into a festive occasion across the globe that celebrates Irish culture through parades, special foods, drinks, dancing, and everything green! From Vancouver to Sydney, here is how different cities from around the world celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day!


Vancouver likes to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day long before March 17th. On March 10th, there will be a Kickoff Party at Vancouver’s most festive Irish pub, The Blarney Stone Pub, featuring music by The Shenanigans, covering everything from Celtic, Dance, Pop, Rock, plus much more! That same night, the annual Tip a Wee Dram whiskey tasting event will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre with 90% of the proceeds going to Cancer research. On March 17th, Vancouver will be hosting Celtic Fest, which is a rich cultural celebration of the Irish community and includes activities such as Celtic music, dance, spoken word, food, and films!  And most importantly, be sure to check out the ILSC-Vancouver Activities Calendar for special Saint Patrick Day Activities on March 17th.

Buenos Aires

As host city to the largest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in South America, Buenos Aires hosts a number of Saint Patrick’s Day activities such as an annual street party in the city center, featuring music, dancing by the famous Celtic Argentina dance troupe, and plenty of beer at Breoghan’s Irish-themed Brew Pub on the corner of Bolivar and Estados Unidos.


Tokyo’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade is the largest of several parades around Japan. This parade started in 1992, by the Irish living in Japan, and has evolved into a glorious mix of traditional Japanese stylized dress combined with Irish costumes. Tokyo’s Harajuku district hosts the Saint Patrick’s Day parade that marches along Omotesando Avenue and includes tap dancers, US army bands, juggling acts, people dressed as giant glasses of Guinness beer and members of the South Tokyo Irish Setter Club. After the annual parade, people meet for more Saint Patrick’s Day activities at Irish pubs and the Hard Rock Café in Roppongi. On March 18th, Yoyogi Park hosts the I Love Ireland Festival.


More than 80,000 people attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Sydney, making it the largest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and the only event in the world organized and funded with support from the Irish government outside of Ireland! Sydney’s Saint Patrick’s Day activities are known for its community and cultural focus and are free for all to attend. Don’t forget to catch the Syndey Opera House lit up in all of its green glory!

New Orleans

In most parades, participants walk the parade route with an occasional display of Irish dancing but this is not the case in New Orleans! Strongly influenced by New Orlean’s Mardi Gras roots, the parade features floats, jazz bands and colorfully costumed characters dancing at all times! After the parade, the crowds head to their favorite Irish establishments, such as Parasols, Pete’s, Kerry Irish Pub, Monaghan’s Erin Rose, O’Flaherty’s Pub and Ryan’s Irish Pub, all located in the French Quarter. At these Irish bars, you can enjoy green beer and live Jazz with an Irish twist!


One of the most anticipated spring events in Montréal will be the 195th Montréal Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 18th, 2018. This vibrant parade is filled with live music, colorful floats, and people wearing copious amounts of green! Before the parade, you will find Irish pubs serving traditional breakfasts and Irish coffee and after the parade is even more live music. Join ILSC-Montréal in the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and check out the event on the Montréal Activity Calendar.


Did you know that in Boston, Irish-Americans make up 20 percent of the population? In fact, as many as 1 million people gather for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston (Southie). This is one of the largest parades in America and includes colorful floats, Irish and American pipe and drum bands, and lots of green!

Now you know this Irish holiday is not limited to Ireland, check out what St. Patty’s Day celebrations are taking place in your city!







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