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St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

Celebrating the patron saint of the Irish isn’t restricted just to Ireland and the United States. There are plenty of locations around the world that observe St. Patrick’s Day. Not wearing green on the special day may even land you a punch in one country. In this article, you will learn a variety of holiday observances that include wearing green, marching in parades, and sampling Irish foods and drinks.

Mexico

Even though it not a big holiday in Mexico, some schoolchildren really take St. Patrick’s Day seriously, as they’ve been known to hit, punch, or slap classmates that do not wear the color green in their clothes. March 17 and September 12 (the Saint Patrick’s Battalion (Batallón de San Patricio) is celebrated throughout the country, which commemorates the participation of the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848, where the Mexican Army fought alongside several hundred Irish, Germans, Swiss, Scots and other Roman Catholics of European descent.

Canada

In Canada, Saint Patrick’s Day is recognized as an official holiday only in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some groups feeling left out (such as Guinness) have lobbied to make St. Patrick’s Day a federal and national holiday. Since 1824, Montreal, Quebec has been the site of the longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada. The holiday has a history in Montreal that traces back to 1759 that Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison established after the British conquest of New France.

In Toronto, they put on one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in North America. The tradition began in 1988 and has since grown to include 32 Irish county associations, 2,000 marchers, 30 floats, 100 organizations, and 14 bands. The streets also fill with many Irish symbols, including shamrocks, leprechauns and even wolfhounds. If you pay a visit to the Province of Manitoba, seek out the annual festival that offers three days of music and cultural activities centered on St Patrick’s Day , thanks to the Irish Association of Manitoba.

South Korea

In Seoul, celebrations and small parades take place in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It is not uncommon to see Korean marching bands take to the streets or samples of Irish stew and Guinness being served in parks.

Denmark

Since 2001, the St. Patrick’s Day 3 Legged Charity Race has been held in Copenhagen, which involves the Irish expert community and has sponsors, such as the Carlsberg brewery and the Irish pub owners of Copenhagen. The event has been known to raise money for charitable donations, which have gone to benefit the likes of a Danish charity for children fighting cancer and the Neonatal Department at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

Norway

The Irish community in Oslo fills the streets with an energizing parade that travels throughout the city. The route takes thousands of people about shopping streets and Oslo Cathedral, where it ends at Town Hall Square for a gathering of entertainment.

Italy

Ten days are devoted to a St. Patrick’s celebration that the city calls ‘Festa Irlandese.’ A large tent is set up and thousands of people come to feast upon Irish food and drinks done the Italian way. Some of the dishes to enjoy include potato soup, beef in Guinness, smoked salmon, and stout.