Irish pubs the world over are full of people drinking in St. Patrick’s Day today, waving the Irish flag, sporting shamrocks and guzzling Guinness. The celebration seems to grow in popularity every year since the first St. Patrick’s Day parade held in New York in 1752. But there are a few places on Earth that hold St. Patrick’s Day festivities that you would never think would bother. If you’re a big fan of this day of green, you must check out these bizarre parties.
Not only is the West Indies island of Montserrat known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, but it has also declared St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday. It’s St. Patrick’s Day party lasts an entire week and stems from an influx of Irish immigrants escaping Oliver Cromwell’s wrath nearly 400 years ago. St. Patrick’s Day traditions include wearing native masks and eating goat soup.
Organised by the Irish Network of Japan, this parade flies the tri-color Irish flag next to the Japan’s rising sun with local residents dressing up as leprechauns and playing the bagpipes. The festivities attract 500 people and although there is much Irish green, the day kicks off with a tribute to the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu to whom the Ise Shrine is dedicated.
St. Patrick has also permeated paradise. He even has an association named after him, The Friends of St. Patrick, which organises a parade and a post-parade ball. The Irish pipers in their kilts must be incredibly hot in the Hawaiian sun!
Another very distant land from Ireland that has an official body to organise St. Patrick’s Day events is Singapore. This year The St. Patrick’s Day Society, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year (who knew?), is holding a St. Patrick’s Day Ball and parade for all of the Irish expats and anyone in general that wants to enjoy a Guinness or two.
The town of Banwen claims to be the birthplace of St. Patrick. That’s right, St. Patrick isn’t Irish. It is believed that St. Patrick’s real name is actually Maewyn Succat and that he was born in the year 385 before being captured by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave. Today, Banwen residents throw a celebration to commemorate St. Patrick’s birthplace, although St. Patrick’s Day is widely considered to be the day of the saint’s death.