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  • 5 surprising destinations to celebrate St Patrick’s Day

    photo by Lee Jordan

    St Patrick’s Day is the most famous Irish celebration in the world, and the Emerald Isle is not the only place where people celebrate it. Irish communities all over the world organize parades and festivities on March 17, complete with green clothes, shamrocks and Irish beer. Dublin and other major Irish cities, and American cities with many Irish-American inhabitants are common destinations for St. Patrick’s day parades. But if you want to celebrate the green holiday in a really unusual setting in 2012, we have some suggestions for you. Here’s a list of 5 surprising destinations to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

    Montserrat, Leeward Islands, Caribbean

    It’s true that St Patrick is a pretty widespread holiday in the English-speaking parts of the world, but it isn’t a public holiday anywhere but in Ireland and…Montserrat, an overseas British territory in the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles. Celebrating St Patrick in a tropical islands paradise instead of rainy Ireland might sound strange to those who are used to huddling in a pub after a rainy St Paddy parade, but a celebration spiced up with the sound of drums and the taste of Creole dishes will make your St Patrick’s Day truly unforgettable.

    Brisbane, Australia

    photo by southie3 on Flickr

    Not only are there large numbers of Irish citizens living in Australia, but about a third of the country’s population can trace back their lineage to the Emerald Island. Naturally, St Patrick’s day is celebrated in Australia with quite a lot of pomp, and the Queensland Irish Association puts up a splendid parade on the streets of Brisbane. One of the most interesting parts of the parade is the “Irish Historical Story”, which has people dressed up in fun costumes representing the Irish who helped build the city.

    New London, Wisconsin

    New London’s Shamrock Club always starts the St Patrick’s Day celebrations with a prank: changing all the signs saying New London to New Dublin. This practical joke has been done again and again for the past 20 years, and it eventually won the approval of the city council too. The small town of less than 10,000 inhabitants is overrun with more tourists than it has residents, bacon (or corned beef, in Irish American tradition) is served at restaurants and the Shamrock club’s members dress up as leprechauns.

    Ise, Japan

    photo by Kenneth Allen

    Ise, famous for its Shinto shrine dedicated to sun goddess Amaterasu, might actually be the weirdest place on the planet to celebrate a holiday originating on a small European island. But parade organized by the Irish Network of Japan (complete with bagpipes, leprechaun costumes and traditional jigs) recreate a small corner of Ireland in the land of the rising sun.

    Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA

    While everyone is trying to find the biggest St Paddy’s celebration in the world, you could do something completely different and pick the shortest! Bridge Street in Hot Springs is one of the shortest streets in the world, and also the venue for the town’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. This is probably the only place in the world where you can see Irish Elvis impersonators or floats so quirky that you’ll be talking about them for days afterwards.

     

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    [...] Day is celebrated everywhere in the world where there are Irish communities (and even in some places where it the holiday seems totally out of place, and all the more fun for it!). So if you are [...]

    [...] century. The festival is very popular among Japanese tourists, and it is centered around the famous Hie Shrine. The most interesting features of the festival are the heavily ornate and colorful floats that roam [...]

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