St. Patrick's Day celebration is usually an unforgettable experience. However, if you know where and how to spend this day, you can make this holiday even more exciting. In this article, you will learn about common St. Patrick’s Day activities, best places to visit and St. Patrick’s Day safety tips to make your celebration secure.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland
Here's a drinkee to his health!

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun time to visit parades, wear something green and drink a lot of beer. St. Patrick's Day celebration takes place on March, 17th to remember St Patrick who is one of Ireland's patron saints. A legend says that St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes which may actually mean that he banished the druids or pagan worshipers of snake or serpent gods. The symbol of this holiday is the shamrock - the leaf of the clover plant which represents the Holy Trinity.

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Saint Patrick's Day became very popular in many countries due to immigrants from Ireland. The tradition to organize parades was initiated in New York, not in Ireland. Thus, St. Patrick's Day is not just a religious holiday; it means the strength and pride of the Irish people who live far away from native land. Now, according to statistics, 46% of adults plan to celebrate this day in the U.S. If you’re going to take part in traditional activities, the following celebration and St. Patrick’s Day safety tips are for you.

Most Common Activities on St. Patrick’s Day

How do you usually celebrate this day? You put on something green with shamrock, eat corned beef, cabbage and drink green beer. However, you can do much more, and some fun activities and tips on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day are as follows:

  • Host a St. Patrick’s Day party with Irish dances. Set a dress code with green attire, like wearing a green T-shirt with large shamrock on it, Irish flags of green, white and orange. Provide your guests with entering word, Irish-related sayings (like "Kiss me, I'm Irish!") or St Patrick's song like this one: 
    I'm looking over a four-leaf clover
    That I overlooked before.
    One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
    Third is the roses that grow in the lane
  • Prepare traditional St. Patrick's Day food which includes corned beef, cabbage, lamb stew, Irish soda bread, potato bread, black pudding, pink bacon and savory roast chicken, etc. In this funny video, you can find St. Patrick's Day recipes on how to prepare corned beef and beers.
  • Learn how to céili (kay-lee) dance. It’s an Irish social dancing. And then, organize an Irish dancing competition. Play St. Patrick's Day games, like “Hot potato”, "Pot o' Gold" treasure hunt (a search for gold chocolate coins), etc.
  • Visit a St. Patrick's Day Parade. Most large cities, such as New York City, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco and Chicago, have parades. Put on something green and enjoy Irish music, dancing and get some free candy.
  • Watch Irish movies. If you are not attending parades or hosting parties, but prefer a family evening, you might as well watch Irish movies. The best ones are The Secret of Roan Inish, Waking Ned Devine, Into the West, Circle of Friends, etc.
  • Organize a traditional pub crawl and drink beer. Most bars and pubs offer special prices on draft beer, food and cover charges. Not only beer is popular on this day, but other famous Irish drinks, too. You can try a pint of Bulmers (or Magners) cider, Smithwick's ale, Jameson Irish whiskey or some Bailey's Irish cream. Watch this video for more information about St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Places to Go Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Traveling is one of the most favorite common St. Patrick's Day activities. Even if you have no opportunity to visit Ireland, you can find some great U.S. destinations and get in the Irish spirit.

Best places to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

  • South Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the best places to get in the spirit because almost a quarter of Boston citizens claim Irish ancestry. You can watch a parade or participate in it. To march in the parade, you should download Application form and Code of Conduct form, fill in the application, sign and mail before February 16, 2018. Visit Harpoon St. Patrick's Festival weekend. It begins on March, 18th, 2018. You can have a great time by joining such events as Harpoon Mac & Cheers Challenge, Shamrock Splash, listening to live music and having St. Patrick’s Day food and beer.
  • Savannah, Georgia. It organizes one of the largest parades in the U.S. The St Patrick's Day Parade will start on March 17th , at 10:15 am, whereas St. Patrick's Day celebration is initiated much earlier, on March, 4th , by Public Investiture of the Grand Marshal. The list of events includes greening of fountain, tree planting ceremony, Celtic Cross reception, Mass-Feast of St Patrick's parade, etc.
  • New York City, New York. It hosts the world’s biggest parade with 150,000 people participating and about 2 million more bystanders lining the route along FiLondon, Enfth Avenue. It begins at 11:00 a.m. on March 17. Pay attention: no consumption of alcohol is permitted, people displaying public drunkenness will be removed from the Parade route.
  • Chicago, Illinois. It provides pub crawls and lively parades. One of the world's most famous St. Patrick's Day rituals is dyeing of the Chicago river which turns emerald green. The dyeing starts on March, 17th, at 9:00 am, followed by the Down Town parade at 1:00 pm. You will see plenty of colorful floats waving their green/white/orange flags high, Irish step dancers, marching bands and bagpipers, etc.
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas. It organizes Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, which celebrates the 15th anniversary this year. The events start with a Grand Funk Railroad concert the day before the parade, on March, 16th. The official starter for the 2018 parade will be Jon Heder, who became an overnight sensation due to “Napoleon Dynamite”. If you want to participate in the parade, you can fill in the Form.

saint patricks day celebration

Top places around the world

  • Dublin, Ireland. It is definitely number 1 place to celebrate St Patrick's Day as here everyone becomes Irish. The 2018 parade theme is “Home is Where the Heart Is”. The list of events includes City Fusion the Festival's in house Community Arts Participation Project, marching bands (La Cañada High School Marching Spartans, The Lumberjack Marching Band, etc.). Dublin star of the stage and screen Liam Cunningham will lead this year’s Festival Parade starting at 12 noon on March, 17th. The celebration will last for 5 days, beginning March, 15th.
  • Montreal, Canada. It has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a parade since 1824. The 195th Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 12:00 p.m. on March, 18th, 2018 and will last for about two hours. The list of events includes floats, marching bands, bagpipes and a giant Saint Patrick figure. You can find Irish pubs in the downtown area that serve St. Patrick’s Day food, beer and Irish coffee with live music.
  • London, England. It marks St Patrick’s Day with fun and great events. The parade starts on March, 18th at Trafalgar Square. You can visit many Irish pubs and drink Guinness, enjoy a traditional Irish celi filled with dances, food and whisky beneath the hull of Cutty Sark.
  • Sydney, Australia. It is famous for Paddy’s Markets - the open-air markets that became traditional on St Patrick's Day thanks to Irish migrants. You can also eat and drink beer in Irish-inspired pubs. Another spot is a Green Gathering with local crafts, Irish beverages, Irish dancers and marching bands at Prince Alfred Park. The celebration starts on March, 18th, at 12:00 with a parade.

Top Saint Patrick’s Day Safety Tips

St. Patrick’s Day is originally religious feasting. However, nowadays it is associated with parades and drinking Irish whiskey and beer. According to statistics, 20% of Americans are planning on having a drink to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This can lead to losing your luck. Thus, consider the following top safety tips for St Patrick’s Day:

  • Plan in advance how to get home after a parade. Make necessary arrangements like calling a friend or family member, using public transportation, a local taxi service or renting a room at a hotel within walking distance.
  • Don’t sit in a car with a drunk driver.
  • If you drive a car, be defensive and keep an eye on pedestrians as they may be drunk.
  • Try to stay within the limits when drinking. Don’t forget about food and water.
  • Don’t take any valuables to a parade, leave them at home.
  • In case of any accident, you can do the following:
    • Call 911.
    • Call the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security on 734-763-1131.
    • File a Police Report.
    • Take Pictures of Accident Scene.

St. Patrick's Day celebration offers a wide range of opportunities for new emotions. You can dive into atmosphere of joy, interesting traditions regardless of your ethnic background. Learn about the best activities and some travel safety tips beforehand and enjoy this day.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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