St. Patty's Day has us dreaming of shamrocks, good luck, and green beer. We love to partake in the holiday honoring Irish culture and the value of a good time. Interestingly enough, the good-natured Irish do CELEBRATE on March 17th, it's the Americans who have taken the St. Patty's Day "party hard" stereotype to another level. So, where are the best places to travel to get a good dose of history and a shot of Jameson on the side? Read on.
First, on the list, of course, is the Irish capital. The celebratory Irish folk spends not one, but FOUR days celebrating their culture with the most colorful parade in the world. Over 500,000 partygoers join in Dublin on March 14th-17th to sing, dance, drink and watch 17 iconic buildings light up emerald green. In fact, this has become a pilgrimage of sorts to people of Irish ancestry all over the world. St. Patrick's Day is the one day during Lent that those participating do not have to adhere to their restrictions, giving them full reign to celebrate.
New York City
New York hosts the oldest and largest St. Patty's Day parade in the U.S. Actually, this celebration has been around 14 years before the institution of America. The displaced homesick Irish immigrants and military members stationed in New York led the first NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1762. At the time, there was a ban on Irish pride in Ireland. So, during the first parade, participants wore green freely, spoke Irish Gaelic, and took part in all the things they missed about home. Now, people from all over come to watch the 257-year-old parade and then hit the pubs nearby.
I know what you're thinking. Go to Argentina for some luck of the Irish? Surprisingly, Argentina is home to South America’s largest Irish population. That number is close to half a million. Lately, there has been a resurgent interest in the Irish culture. This pride is evident on St. Patty's Day in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where many immigrants originally settled.
One of the most prominent St. Patty's Day celebrations in the U.S, the city is most famous to dyeing the Chicago River a shimmering emerald. Urban legend had it that leprechauns were responsible for it. It turns out; it is the Butler and Rowan families who have been doing it for the last 50 years. The only way to participate in in the tradition is by blood or marriage. Although, the entire city turns out to kick off the festivities.
The city's basketball team is the Celtics...need we say more? The significant number of Irish descents in the capital of Massachusetts is responsible for the 51 Irish pubs in Boston alone. Each year, the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, South Boston has a full celebration. A parade, live music, and shenanigans make for an epic Sunday Funday.