Every March 17th the world becomes green as huge St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are held all across the world. Here are the globe’s 10 biggest parades.
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day, a day where, regardless of your actual heritage, everybody becomes Irish. St. Patrick’s Day is not just an Irish holiday but one celebrated worldwide. The countries which host some of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world may surprise you. These worldwide celebrations mainly include parades, festivals, and Irish dancing.
In this article you’ll find our picks for the top ten biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world.
10. Singapore – new to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Singapore is quite new to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, having celebrated it for the first official time in 2006. Since then, however, it has gone from strength to strength every year. Singapore hosts street festivals that include live music, street performances, dancing, and games.
9. Munich, Germany – growing in popularity every year
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Munich started from small beginnings but has gained traction every year since, so much so that with over 15,000 participants, the city of Munich shuts down Leopold Strasse so they can celebrate Ireland’s patron saint.
8. Sydney, Australia – turning green for St. Patrick’s Day
The Sydney Opera House turns green every year for St. Patrick’s Day, as does the rest of the city. The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sydney dates back more than 200 years ago and is one of the largest to take place in the world.
7. Auckland, New Zealand – celebrating Irish connections
A group of Irishmen created St. Patrick’s Festival Auckland in 1995 with the purpose of not only celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but honouring the connections that Ireland has made with New Zealand. Now, over 20 years later, the festival attracts thousands. The Auckland festival includes food stalls, Irish dancing, and plenty of music and activities for children.
6. Montreal, Canada – the never-cancelled parade
The Montreal St. Patrick’s Day Parade has, since its inauguration in 1824, never been cancelled, regardless of how bad the weather is. The festivities take place on the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day and its three-hour parade include floats, music, costumes, and an impressive, massive replica of St. Patrick.
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina – largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and party in South America
When you realise that there are more than 500,000 Irish people in Argentina, it comes as no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal there. You are sure to witness a sea of green as its St. Patrick’s Day parade and party are the biggest in South America.
4. Montserrat, Caribbean – the only other nation that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday
In Montserrat, not only is St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday, they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for over a week with a schedule full of Caribbean-style festivities. Since St. Patrick’s Day shares the same date as the slave uprising planned in Montserrat on March 17th 1768, the celebrations also honour Montserrat’s African and Irish heritage.
3. Dublin, Ireland – Ireland’s big day
Of course, the entirety of Ireland is full of parades and festivals to celebrate the day of its patron saint, but the most prominent and most renowned St. Patrick’s Day parade to take place on the Emerald Isle is without a doubt the one that takes place in the nation’s capital, Dublin.
This parade is broadcasted live on Irish television and attracts thousands of visitors from abroad who wish to celebrate the day in Ireland.
2. London, UK – different theme, the same great parade
London celebrates St. Patrick’s Day annually and its St. Patrick’s Day Parade bears a different theme each year. In the London parade, you will see many imaginatively designed floats, marching bands, sports clubs, and Irish-dancing schools from across the UK. The parade passes by many iconic landmarks such as The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall.
1. New York City, U.S.A. – the world’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration
New York plays host to the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the world as more than two million people gather annually for the city’s grand parade. The parade is enormous and contains bands, bagpipes, and dancers with over 150,000 – 250,000 participants taking part.
The tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. dates back to 1762, meaning that New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is older than the U.S. itself!
That concludes our list of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world. If there are any other big parades around the world that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments.