South Korea: K-pop with Irish Dancing
Each year in Seoul the Irish Association of Korea hosts one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day festivals in Asia. Thousands of attendees experience the rich culture of Ireland through food, drink, parades, Gaelic football, singing and dancing. One spectacular feature involves a fusion of two cultures, as traditional Irish step dancing is choreographed to the modern tunes of energetic K-pop!
Montserrat: The “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”
The Caribbean island of Montserrat, southwest of St. Johns, celebrates the holiday with a unique mix of African and Irish heritages. Descendants of Irish indentured servants and African slaves come together each year to put on a parade called the Freedom Run to commemorate the slave uprising of March 17, 1768, which eventually led to the emancipation of both cultures. The islanders celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday with an entire week of festivities filled with Creole food, masked dancers, and local steel drum music.
Denmark: Race for Charity
In Copenhagen, hundreds of participants donned in green pair up each year for the St. Patrick’s Day Three Legged Charity Race. Teams racing from Irish pub to pub must down a half pint of beer at each one before reaching the finish line, or else undercover judges will quickly disqualify them from the competition. This year the charities supported are Laura Lynn – Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, Danske Hospitals Klovne (Danish Hospital Clowns), and the Cambodian Children’s Advocacy Foundation. The record time to beat is 14 minutes 54 seconds.
Spain: Mediterranean Curach Regatta
The Spanish celebrate at the Port of Barcelona with a traditional Irish regatta, featuring a type of wooden rowboat or curach, originally from West Ireland, called the. Today, many people have become interested in learning to hand-build and row these Irish vessels in Barcelona, demonstrating an appreciation of Irish craftsmanship and a blending of cultures.
New Zealand: The Emerald Ball
The city of Auckland prides itself on throwing the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day party of the year. Celebrations include a parade, a fleadh, or Irish dance and music festival, and Gaelic football. The highlight of the festivities is The Emerald Ball or ‘Irish social event of the year’ a formal ‘green attire’ gala featuring Irish music and dancing, traditional foods, and plenty of craic or Irish fun and enjoyment! These are just 5 of the unique ways worldwide cultures celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. How does your country celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? How are are you celebrating this year?