SAINT Patrick's Day is one of the biggest national holidays in the world – but who celebrates it best?
We’ve put together a list of the best festivals in the world celebrating Ireland’s national saint on March 17 – outside of the emerald isle, of course.
Here are the Top 7 St Patrick’s Day celebrations worldwide…
While St Patrick’s Day is seen as a predominantly Western celebration, the Singapore River transforms into a sea of green as part of its own two-day street festival every year.
If you're in East Asia around March 17, there's no better place to be to celebrate Ireland's national holiday.
One of the oldest March 17 celebrations outside of Ireland, the London St Patrick’s Day Parade attracts tens of thousands of people every year along its 1.5-mile route between Green Park and Trafalgar Square.
The latter hosts an all day festival including music performances, a food market, fashion show, film festivals and best of all – an annual Irish Post stall, ran by yours truly.
The Sydney Opera House turns green on March 17 each year, and so does the rest of the city.
With a massive parade (dating back over 200 years) on the Sunday before St Patrick’s Day itself, the event is the only of its kind to be organised and sponsored by the Irish Government.
Unsurprisingly, the most Irish city in the US hosts one of the best parades around.
There are more Irish pubs in Boston than any other city in the country, so it’s not surprising that more than 600,000 people descend on the Massachusetts state capital every St Patrick’s Day.
The main event is South Boston’s parade – which lasts two and a half hours and features dozens of pipe bands and huge floats.
The city of Chicago is famous for dyeing its Chicago River green every March 17 in a traditional dating back to 1961 – when the chairman of the annual parade saw green dye being used in the river to identify sewage.
On the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day, more than 400,000 people gather along the river to watch 45lbs of environmentally-safe vegetable dye turn the murky waters a bright shade of green.
After the morning's dyeing ceremony, even more spectators gather for the city’s parade at noon – which lasts about three hours with dancers, bands and other entertainers on show.
Often referred to as the ‘Emerald Isle’ of the Caribbean, Montserrat is the only nation outside of Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday.
To celebrate, the island nation has a 10-day festival – which includes a St Patrick’s Day dinner, a Kite Festival and loads more.
Saint Patrick’s Day is also the anniversary of the country’s first slave uprising, which took place in 1768 – making 2018 its 250th anniversary and an extra-special March 17 for everyone in beautiful Montserrat.
1. New York City
Manhattan hosts the world’s single largest St Patrick’s Day celebration, with more than two million people gathering for the city’s grand parade on March 17.
The march up Fifth Avenue starts at 11am on 44th Street and lasts an incredible six hours – ending at 79th street with a stop at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral along the way.
There are no floats or cars allowed in the parade, but it does feature bands, bagpipes and dancers with between 150,000 to 250,000 participants alone.
The tradition itself dates back to 1762 – making the NYC St Patrick’s Day Parade 14 years older than the United States itself!