Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is a national holiday in some countries including Northern Ireland and the island of Montserrat, while in other countries it has a long history of being a social holiday. Whether it is an official holiday or not, places all around the world are celebrating Irish people and their heritage on this day. Christians celebrate it in the form of a feast to commemorate Saint Patrick who died on this day in AD 461. The holiday in the secular world has become a day where millions of people walk the streets in green clothing. The Saint Patrick’s Day spirit is alive and well in the cities of Dublin, Chicago, and Montreal.
Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin
People from across the globe come to Dublin for Saint Patrick’s Day because the saint himself is known for his actions during his time in Ireland. He is most famously known for having chased all the snakes out of the Emerald Isle. In modern day, people come to Dublin to celebrate the yearly Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. It is a five-day Festival that happens in Merrion Square and this year takes place from March 14th to March 18th, 2019.
There is an action-packed program with activities for every age. Céilí Mór and Tiny Dancer are some of the many dance events happening. The city has planned science workshops for children which include exhibitions from the Science Foundation Ireland Science Zone. Historical walks are taking place all around, such as the Lavender Walk: Tour of Historic LGBT Dublin with Tonie Walsh. Storytellers and performers are gathering in the famous Guinness in the Liberties quarter to entertain the masses. Every street has some celebration going on that should not be missed.
Saint Patrick’s Day in Chicago
In opposition to the traditional way of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in Europe, it has become a heavily commercialized holiday in modern North America. On Saturday, March 16th, Chicago’s very own Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has thousands of people gathering in Grant Park. The parade itself begins with the Chicago River being dyed green at 9 am.
The entire week leading up to Sunday, March 17th, Irish pubs open their doors extra early and become packed within minutes. There is also a celebratory 8K road race that takes place in the Loop. The Irish American Heritage Center holds a festival filled with events such as live music, arts and crafts for children, and a feast for all. O’Neil’s on Wells’ Street is sure to keep you entertained as it closes down a part of Financial Avenue for a block party. The options for what to do on Saint Patrick’s Day in Chicago are truly unlimited.
Saint Patrick’s Day in Montreal
Just like in both Dublin and Chicago, March 17th is the best day of the year for Irish pubs in Montreal. Almost all of them have traditional Irish music being played live, and their kitchens are serving typical Irish meals. Hurley’s pub usually takes the hat for being the most popular place to be. People of all ages gather on Saint Catherine to watch the decorated floats go down the street. The parade takes place the Sunday closest to Saint Patrick’s Day every year and leaves people walking around wearing green in the city all day afterward. Street festivals and performances happen all weekend long to ensure every second is enjoyed.
Cities with large Irish diasporas seem to be the places to be on March 17th. So, do your best to get to one of these big cities, or even figure out what is happening in your town and join in on the festivities. Whether you have Irish heritage or not, it is a day for celebrating for all. Don’t forget – everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day!