Young people celebrating St. Patrick's Day at a bar with green drinks and accessories.

Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations Around The World

Last Updated on March 14, 2023

Saint Patrick’s is a holiday marked in millions of people’s calendars around the world. Celebrated every 17th of March, Saint Patrick’s Day commemorates the death of the patron saint of Ireland (who was, in fact, British) and the arrival of Christianity to the country.

However, what began as a religious holiday in the 17th century is now a festivity that honors Irish heritage in any area with a significant Irish population. As it couldn’t be any other way, typical celebratory activities include drinking and eating Irish foods, participating in parades, going to church, singing and dancing traditional Irish music. All accompanied by shamrocks and everything green.

While the day is a national holiday in Ireland, it is also celebrated around the world by people of Irish descent and those who simply love the festivities.

INTERESTING FACT: As posted in this infographic by History and Column Five, there are 34’7 million US citizens with Irish ancestry, which is seven times the population of Ireland! This is due to the massive migratory movement by the Irish to America during the great potato famine of the 1840s in Ireland. Thousands of Irishmen and women settled in the US’ east coast cities like New York and Boston and established their families there.

Let’s take a tour of some of the most popular Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations from around the world.

Dublin, Ireland


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Dublin is the epicenter of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, and the city hosts a massive parade that draws over 500,000 spectators. The parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and performers from around the world. In the evening, the city’s iconic buildings, including Dublin Castle and the Guinness Storehouse, are illuminated in green light, and the streets come alive with live music and traditional Irish dancing.

In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is the most important national holiday of the year. That’s why in Dublin it is celebrated with a five-day festival! If you go into a pub during this holiday, you can’t miss the opportunity to order a real Irish Guinness beer in one of the best beer cities in the world. You can toast by saying “sláinte!” which is the Gaelic word for “cheers!”. Moreover, you might want to visit the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, which will host a comedy gig and a couple of foodie events to taste Irish craft whiskey, beer, cheese, popcorn, chocolate and more.For a more cultural celebration, you can take a trip to Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. This is the town where Saint Patrick is buried and where he built his first church. Therefore, for Saint Patrick’s Day, this small town organizes a ton of fun activities and family events.

New York City, United States

New York City hosts the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade outside of Ireland, with over 200,000 participants and more than 2 million spectators. The parade starts at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue and marches up to 79th Street, passing famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park. The city also hosts an Irish cultural festival in the weeks leading up to the parade, with live music, dance performances, and food.

Many people assume that celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day was a tradition born in Ireland. Nonetheless, it actually originated in the United States. In fact, New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest, largest and longest in the world. First held in 1762, it now gathers around 200 thousand marchers every year and rallies over two million spectators in the streets. The parade goes through a 1’5-mile route along the 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Chicago, United States


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Chicago’s Saint Patrick’s Day downtown parade is another well-known celebration in the US. This festival is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green. Before the start of the parade, a boat releases around 40 lbs of special green dye into the river that turns the city itself into part of the celebration.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day is another party to take into account. It is the largest festival in the southern hemisphere with more than 80.000 marching people. However, bear in mind that it always takes place on the third Sunday of the month, so this year is the 18th of March. At The Green Quarter in Moore Park, you will be able to find food and drink stalls, great Irish music and a children and family-friendly area. The Sydney Saint Patrick’s Day parade is the only event that doesn’t take place in Ireland organized and funded with the support of the Irish government.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Saint Patrick’s Day party in Buenos Aires (Argentina) is the biggest of South America since this country has the 5th largest Irish community in the world.

With such a strong Irish community, the city’s Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are a colorful and lively affair. The streets in Buenos Aires come alive with traditional Irish music, dance performances, and street vendors selling Irish-themed merchandise. The main parade takes place in the San Telmo neighborhood and features floats, costumes, and performers.

Tokyo, Japan

Saint Patrick’s Day is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, with many bars and restaurants offering Irish-themed menus and drinks. The Tokyo Saint Patrick’s Day parade takes place in the Harajuku neighborhood and features a mix of traditional Irish and Japanese performers. The city’s landmarks, including the Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge, are also illuminated in green light. In Tokyo, even dogs of the Irish Setter’s breed participate in the parade.

Auckland, New Zealand

Aucklands home to a large Irish community, and the annual Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations draw locals and visitors alike. One of the most significant events of the day is the Saint Patrick’s Festival and Parade, which takes place in central Auckland. The parade is a colorful affair, featuring floats, marching bands, and performers in traditional Irish costumes. The procession makes its way through the streets of the city, with crowds of people lining the route to cheer on the participants.

Montserrat, the Caribbean

The tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat also considers Saint Patrick’s a public holiday. Though they celebrate it as the day the slaves revolted for their independence from Europeans (most of whom were Irish).

Saint Patrick’s Day is a special day for the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, as it not only celebrates the patron saint of Ireland but also commemorates the island’s Irish heritage. Montserrat is one of the few places in the world outside of Ireland where Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday, and the celebrations on the island are truly unique.


While it would be impossible to mention all of the parades held around the world, here are some other famous Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations. As you can see, millions of people (not necessarily Irish or of Irish descent) celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day every year. Cities from all over the world turn their landscapes green to celebrate Irish heritage, and friends and communities gather to march at their local parade. Lots of delicious food and Irish drinks are never lacking, of course. So if you are attending a Saint Patrick’s Day festivity this year, just dress in green, add some lucky shamrocks to your outfit and get ready to have lots of fun!

In conclusion, Saint Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture and heritage. From massive parades in Dublin and New York City to smaller but no less festive celebrations in Buenos Aires and Tokyo, the day is a chance for people around the world to come together and celebrate all things Irish. So don your green attire, grab a pint of Guinness, and join in the festivities!


About Maite Aja

Maite Aja is our Content Editor and Graphic Designer. She has recently graduated in Advertising and Public Relations and is specializing in an area that she loves: digital marketing. She's curious and passionate and enjoys spending her free time reading or watching TV series.

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