Happy St Patrick’s Day!

St Patrick, the man who banished all the snakes from Ireland, died today. Traditionally in Ireland, this is a pious and solemn day, however, as religious as our guys in green can be; they’ve always enjoyed a good tipple.

This reflective gathering in the motherland has mushroomed into an all-singing all-dancing celebration of everything Paddy. St Patrick has come to symbolise Ireland itself, and anyone around the world with a drop of Irish blood takes to the streets every March 17 in celebration of their roots.

The party is open to all, and whether you enjoy a nice Guinness by a roaring fire or a line of ‘baby Guinness’ shots at the bar, the world is your oyster.

Dublin is a cracking place for a party any time of year, but St Patrick’s Day is the big one. The atmosphere is electric and the black (sorry, green) stuff has been brewed just a stone’s throw away.

Temple Bar, is the centre of it all, and hundreds of thousands of revellers drink, dance and laugh well into the night. There’s street performances, fairground rides and plenty of live music. And the grand finale is a big parade through the streets.

If you happen to be in New York City for St Patrick’s Day, you will not be disappointed. Irish descendents make up one of the city’s major ethnic groups, and NYC’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, is an absolute whopper. One million spectators watch 150,000 marchers in this amazing spectacle, which can be seen from the moon (probably). The mood is jovial and family-orientated, with plenty of music and entertainment.

With an impressive 15.8 per cent of it’s population made up of Irish descendents, Boston, Massachusetts, also throws a really big party. Beginning an entire week before the big day, celebrations include concerts, galas and other boozy events, culminating in a big parade through the city.

In Chicago, not just the hats, t-shirts, beer and face paint is green, but the river too. The Chicago River is dyed green to mark this special day.

But to get a ‘real Irish’ experience, you’ll have to find a friendly, rural pub where it all began. Enjoy the craic in Galway, listening to traditional music and meeting new friends. One of the best pubs to squeeze into is Tigh Neachtain, which hasn’t changed much for generations.

Wherever you decide to rock up, grab something green and get into the party atmosphere – everyone is an honourary Irishman today.

Next time: Olympics Escapes…

Image by Aguawater 1394 courtesy of Flickr

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