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Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2024: Everything You Need to Know

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated widely, and often wildly, across the globe. But, of course, rarely will you find anything better than Dublin. It’s probably the biggest occasion in Ireland’s capital. The entire city comes to a standstill and the celebration often lasts for a week.

For Ireland and the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is not only the main religious holiday, but also the main cultural holiday of the year. This is a really significant part of their culture, traditions, values, that is, part of their past. It is through culture that they share their traditions, values, customs, rituals, and souvenirs with the whole world.

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Lively St. Patrick’s Day parade with bagpipers and a jester in green.
Joyful revelers march in a vibrant St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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How is St. Patrick’s Day Celebrated in Ireland in 2024?

Marching band with brass and drums in a St. Patrick's parade.
Marching band in green heralds St. Patrick’s Day festivity.

Dublin is definitely going to top any list for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. If there is one city in the world where you want to be on the big day, then it is definitely Dublin. The entire city turns green as the Irish have a party all day. Evenings are particularly nice with green lights shining on buildings and famous landmarks. The parade is, of course, the main interest, and you’ll see it in the city center on the 17th of March. It’s a wild one, with giant puppetry, marching bands, dancers, artists, and theater groups. The entire city comes down to the streets to celebrate.

Moving away from the Irish capital, as a tourist, you will gradually see fewer and fewer colorful, vibrant traditions and festive fun or madness in its modern sense. But many Irish people still honor their history, so they are also ready to arrange festive ceremonies in their home on St. Patrick’s Day.

Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Festivities: From Citywide Celebrations to Quiet Town Traditions

Green pot with St. Patrick's Day decor and beads.
St. Patrick’s Day charm with festive Irish decorations.

If in Dublin, the manifestations of such a holiday are traditionally festive parades, festivities, then in small Irish towns, distinguished by authenticity, which have preserved almost unchanged the traditional way of life, St. Patrick’s Day is a quiet family holiday.

Irish people living, for example, in the southern part of Ireland, traditionally celebrate this holiday in a quiet family circle. To do this, the family decorates their entire house with traditional festive decor. Starting from the decoration of the facade of the house, ending with products, national dishes on the table. In the morning, Irish families living in rural areas attend the local church. Then members of such families have breakfast, eating festive cakes, which are decorated in the colors of the Irish flag. After which family members dress up in national costumes. Adults allow themselves to drink a pint of Irish beer or a portion of Irish whiskey on this day.

The Holiday is With us and the Mayor as Well

Smiling trio in green hats and beards celebrating the holiday.
Holiday cheer with festive Irish attire on St. Patrick’s Day.

On this festive day, on the streets of Dublin, you can meet the mayor of the capital. Who walks freely around the city, visiting city bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes, chatting amicably with both locals and tourists.

This can be considered, perhaps, one of the most obvious demonstrations of the simplicity and openness of Irish society, as well as the Irish authorities. The mayor of Dublin is happy to drink more than one pint of dark Irish beer produced in local breweries on this day. On this festive day, the Irish are especially happy to see tourists from all over the world on their land. Due to the influx of tourists, the capital of Ireland on this day turns into a continuous sea of people eager for endless fun.

For the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the main holidays that demonstrate the joy, openness, and hospitality of an entire nation to the whole world. Celebrations dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day. Both in Dublin and in other cities of Ireland, almost always last for five days.

Over the past ten, fifteen years, this national Irish celebration has turned into a truly global festival. Especially for this celebration, the Irish invent, manufacture, and colorfully dress up figures of heroes of Celtic mythology. Who will then take part in the main festive parade. From year to year, more than half a million tourists come to Ireland specifically to see this festive extravaganza. Therefore, it is clearly not surprising that on St. Patrick’s Day, rental prices in Dublin as in other Irish cities, increase threefold, and sometimes even more.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations: Traditions & Lifestyle

Crowd in green with festive gear celebrates the holiday.
A sea of green as crowds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with joy.

Not only musicians, but also representatives of all professions take part in the festive parade dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day. Absolutely any Irishman considers it his duty to solemnly walk through the streets of Irish cities on St. Patrick’s Day. Of course with elements of national attributes, with national symbols. But the festival management carefully selects the participants of the parade. Annually adding a highlight to the symbolism of the celebration.

Representatives of various companies and trade unions compete for the opportunity to walk on a solemn parade in Ireland. Presenting themselves and their teams there, preparing special programs and costumes for this. Even Dublin firefighters and the guard of honor of the Lord Mayor of the Irish capital participate in this parade. But even they must undergo universal selection on equal terms. There can be no privileges for anyone here. Along with the Irish firefighters, their colleagues from the USA and Australia are also solemnly marching on the parade.

Homecomings for St. Patrick’s Day

Couple dashes through airport, eager for holiday homecoming.
Rushing home for a festive St. Patrick’s Day reunion.

Many Irish people living abroad, during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, specially return to their homeland to celebrate the main national holiday in their homeland. Adhering to ancient Celtic traditions.

Church restrictions related to fasting observed during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day are significantly relaxed. On this day, the church allows Irish believers to drink alcohol. And marketers often portray the patron saint of the main holiday in Ireland with a glass of beer.

The Main Drink of the Holiday

Man in green hat offering a pint of stout for the holiday.
Toasting with stout, the beloved holiday brew of St. Patrick’s.

Dublin is generally the international capital of stout as a dark ale beer. Beer which is produced using burnt malt obtained by roasting barley grains and adding caramel malt.

Many tourists specially come to the Irish capital to try a pint of the legendary intoxicating drink directly at the place of its creation. And if they manage to do it also during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, then it will really be remembered for a lifetime.

The long-standing traditions of cooking stout have made it one of the business cards of Ireland. There is no shortage of connoisseurs of intoxicating drinks not only during the festive celebrations, but also on ordinary days in Ireland. To understand this, it is enough to note that about thirty percent of all sales for the year from Irish pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants fall on St. Patrick’s Day. Beer factories began to prepare in advance for this event back in January, including recruiting additional employees for their production facilities.

He Becomes the Main Patron: The bartender!

Beaming bartender with beer celebrates St. Patrick's Day.
Cheerful bartender, the holiday’s unsung hero, serves joy.

Immediately after the parade, the Irish capital turns into an excellent place for mass celebrations, festivities, which are accompanied by national songs and dances. In bars and pubs at this time, even an apple really has nowhere to fall.

The craziest, most unforgettable, brightest part of the holiday in Ireland begins with the onset of evening. Local pubs and bars organize parties, treating their guests and visitors to delicious and high-quality Irish beer in unlimited quantities. Partly for this reason, the next day in Ireland is a day off.

It is no wonder that the whole world knows about St. Patrick’s Day as a grandiose party on a global scale. For most tourists, the main patron on this festive day is not St. Patrick at all, but an ordinary bartender. Bartenders have a lot more work these days. But they fully absorb the festive atmosphere and mood as well.

Pubs simply cannot accommodate everyone who wants to relax with a glass of beer. So parties quickly move to the streets of Irish cities, where everyone can already find something of their own in the celebration. Including religious and cultural attributes that always accompany Irish holidays.

Ireland invests a lot of effort, time and money into this celebration and its PR. It is for this reason that, despite the fact that Ireland is a small European country. Thanks to St. Patrick’s Day, the whole world really knows about it.

Top Destinations to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Outside Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated not only by the Irish. This holiday has long been an international one. In his honor, even the president of the United States decorates his costume with a clover shamrock on March 17. Which is a symbol not only of this holiday, but also of Ireland as a state.

In the United Kingdom, of which Northern Ireland is a part. Even members of the British royal family take part in the celebrations every year.

Parades, spectacles and all kinds of celebrations are invariable attributes, symbols of this holiday that unites the Irish all over the world.

If a ticket to the Emerald Island isn’t in your budget, here are some of the biggest celebrations you’ll find worldwide.  St. Patrick’s Day may be a few days away, but you can still get in on the fun.  Here are some of the best cities for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Boston, United States Among the Top Destinations to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Crowded Boston parade celebrating the holiday with us.
Boston’s streets flood with green for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The next big St. Patrick’s Day party is in Boston, and that’s because of the strong Irish connection within the city. A lot of people from Ireland arrived in Boston over the years and now call the city home. The city organizes an Irish heritage walk on the day, apart from the customary parade with bagpipers.  And, of course, you’ll find plenty of parties throughout the city—namely in South Boston and near Faneuil Hall.

New York City Another Best City to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Bagpipers march in NYC's St. Patrick’s Day, holiday with us.
NYC’s grand St. Patrick’s Day parade, a 250-year tradition.

Most things are bigger and better in NYC and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. The celebration there dates back a long time as well—more than 250 years actually. Interestingly, however, most of the things people associate with a traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade are absent here, but still, an estimated 150,000 participate in this NYC event.

Chicago on List of Top Destinations for St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago river dyed green with a festive boat for St. Patrick's.
Chicago’s river gleams green in St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated big time in Chicago with more than a million people participate in the event, making it among the most-participated celebrations in the world. Chicago is turned green, too, much like Dublin. Even the river becomes green on the day as 45 kg of green vegetable dye is poured into the water. Irish residents of Chicago and beyond descend from everywhere for the grand parade.

Buenos Aires: Best Destination to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Perhaps surprisingly, Argentina has a big Irish community as well, and so St. Patrick’s Day is big occasion in the country—most widely celebrated in the capital, Buenos Aires. The weather is mild, so the party usually goes on for more than a day.

Who is Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born at the end of the IV century in the area of modern Wales (Great Britain). Paradoxically, the main saint of Ireland is a Briton.When the young man was 16 years old, he and other residents were kidnapped by robbers and taken to Ireland to graze sheep. In captivity, Patrick turned to God and spent a lot of time praying. He eventually managed to escape, but soon took holy orders and decided to return to Ireland as a preacher.

What is St. Patrick famous for?

If you are questioning yourself for what is St. Patrick’s famous for: According to legend, Saint Patrick used a triple clover leaf to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish. The shamrock was also a special sign among the Celts, so it was firmly established as a symbol of the whole of Ireland.
It is said that Patrick had several skirmishes with the druids, the pagan priests of Ireland, but the saint was surprisingly peaceful and was able to convince many of them.
One of the stories tells how on Easter St. Patrick lit a bonfire on Slane Hill in the Boyne Valley to challenge the High King of Ireland, who forbade lighting all other bonfires except on the sacred hill of Tara. The bonfire impressed the king so much that he allowed St. Patrick to continue his mission of converting the Irish people to Christianity.
Perhaps the most famous legend about St. Patrick says that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, scientists believe that there have never been snakes in Ireland. Most likely, this is a metaphor for the fact that St. Patrick converted the pagan Irish people to Christianity.