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The Greenest Festival Ever | Celebrating St Patrick’s Day in 2023 | Ratepunk

In the middle of March Irish and non-Irish often participate in the “wearing of the green” or simply carrying an item of green clothing or a shamrock, in the lapel. Some cities organize parades while others quietly hold a party at one of the local pubs. It no need to say that we are talking about St Patrick’s Day which is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17th, the death date of Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It is a public holiday in Ireland and is also widely celebrated by Irish communities and organizations worldwide, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. The holiday is typically celebrated with parades, special church services, the wearing of green clothing or shamrocks, and enjoying Irish food and drink, such as Irish stew, bacon with cabbage, and, of course, Guinness beer. The color green is particularly associated with St. Patrick's Day, as it is said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

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By Eglė

Published: Jan 25, 2023 min read

The Greenest Festival Ever | Celebrating St Patrick’s Day in 2023 | Ratepunk

Surprisingly, the origins of the holiday can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was first celebrated by Irish immigrants in the United States as a way to honor their heritage. Yes, you understood rightly the first St Patrick’s festivals were held in the United States (1737 in Boston, and 1762 in New York City). However, the holiday has evolved over time, and today it is celebrated not just by Irish people, but by people of all backgrounds who want to join in the fun and celebrate Irish culture. Let’s review a few places famous for St Patrick's celebrations.

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IRELAND

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is not only a religious holiday but also a national holiday, which means that all government buildings, banks, and most businesses are closed. Well, maybe except for pubs and bars, cause people love to rise a pint of Guinness on this occasion. Many Irish people go to churches and then spend the rest of the day with family and friends, often enjoying a traditional Irish meal.

Without a doubt, the largest St. Patrick's Day parade is held in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. These parades often feature bands playing Irish music, people dressed in traditional Irish costumes who dance traditional dances and floats decorated with Irish themes. Many of these parades also have a strong military presence, with veterans and active-duty service members marching in the parade to honor their Irish heritage. The atmosphere inspires even foreigners to enjoy and unite with locals for this beautiful occasion. If you haven’t visited Dublin, my friend, March 17th would be the best day to do it. At the moment there is not much information about the festival but the St Patrick’s festival parade route is already announced. And oh boy, it already looks promising. Of course, there are many smaller Irish towns and cities also hold parades and other celebrations but the one in Dublin is special.

St Patrick’s Festivals in New York City

The second largest St Patrick’s festival is held in New York City. The parade starts at 44th street and Fifth Avenue and goes up to 79th street, and it usually lasts for several hours, with thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The parade features a wide variety of participants, including marching bands, dancers, floats, and of course, a large number of Irish-American organizations. One of the most unique features of the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade is that it's led by the city's Irish-American community, and it's the only parade in the city that is not permitted to have any commercial floats. This is to ensure that the parade remains focused on Irish heritage and culture, rather than commercialism.

The parade is also famous for the presence of many different Irish organizations, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish-American Police Society, and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, among many others. The parade also features a large number of Irish dance groups, performing traditional Irish dances, and it is also common to see many people dressed in traditional Irish costumes.

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Funky traditions in Chicago

Well, New York City is not the only American city where Irish people celebrate their beloved festivals. Let’s tall about St Patrick’s festivals in Chicago. The parade starts at 44th street and Fifth Avenue and goes up to 79th street, and it usually lasts for several hours, with thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The parade features a wide variety of participants, including marching bands, dancers, floats, and of course, many Irish-American organizations. As many others. However, Chicago has its own traditions on how to celebrate this special dau.  Since  1962 Chicago has colored its river green to mark the holiday. And you know what, there are not the only ones who do it. 

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How Do Lithuanians celebrate St Patrick’s Festival

Not only Chicago colors the river in green but also Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The city government dyes a river green as part of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Vilnius. This is a relatively new tradition, which started in 2008. This event is organized by the Vilnius City Municipality and the Irish Embassy in Lithuania, which use a bio-safe, non-toxic green dye that is safe for the environment and for the fish living in the river. The event is not only to celebrate St. Patrick's day but also to promote the friendship between the two countries and to create a unique and memorable experience for the residents and visitors of Vilnius. It has become a popular attraction and a way to highlight the city's cultural diversity.

It's worth noting that this event is not an official event of the St. Patrick's Day celebration, and the dyeing of the river is not a common practice in most of the cities that celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but still, it's a nice way to add a unique and creative touch to the celebration.


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Jan 25, 2023

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