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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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From Dublin to the Deep South: Here's how the world will celebrate Paddy's Day

There’ll be parades in places as far away as Japan and New Zealand.

FOR A FESTIVAL honouring the patron saint of one small island off Europe, St Patrick’s Day has reached far beyond Irish borders in recent years.

From New York to Tokyo to the Caribbean, here are our picks of some of the biggest and most interesting parades taking place across the world over the coming week.

MONTSERRAT

16642075577_66aa5ebdaa_b Irish landowners were among the biggest slave owners in Montserrat up until the early 19th century. Source: JTrant/Flickr

This tiny Caribbean island – home to just under 5,000 people – celebrates St Patrick’s Day for a different reason than the rest of us.

For the folks in Montserrat, Thursday marks the 248th anniversary of a failed slave rebellion against European colonisers, many of whom were Irish.

Despite its dark roots, organisers of the annual festival say it now celebrates the island’s African and Irish heritage.

www.visitmontserrat.com

NEW YORK

St. Patricks Day Parade A group from Co Kerry marches up Fifth Ave during the 2015 St Patrick's Day Parade in New York. Source: Mary Altaffer/AP/Press Association Images

New York City’s 2016 parade should be particularly memorable: for the first time in its 255-year history, LGBT groups will be allowed to march under their own banners.

Senator George Mitchell, who helped broker the Good Friday Agreement, is leading this year’s festivities along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

www.nycstpatricksparade.org

DUBLIN

17/3/2015. St Patricks Day Festivals Parades Emily Cox, Cassidy Hale and Katie Seesselberg from Texas take part in the 2015 St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin. Source: RollingNews.ie

Get out early on Thursday morning for a decent view of our own capital’s parade, which kicks off a four-day festival.

Among the other highlights here next week are daily walking tours tracing the life of St Patrick, a céili at Earlsfort Terrace on Friday and a street carnival on Merrion Square the following day.

www.stpatricksfestival.ie

ARKANSAS

Bacon Brothers Mummers Parade Kevin and Michael Bacon will be leading festivities in Hot Springs on Thursday. Source: Chris Pizzello/AP/Press Association Images

Actor Kevin Bacon and his brother, the musician Michael Bacon, are the grand marshals of the self-styled Shortest St Patrick’s Day Parade along a 98-foot street in Hot Springs, Arizona.

Irish Elvis impersonators, belly dancers, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, green wolfhounds and the “world’s largest leprechaun” are all said to be taking part.

www.shorteststpats.com

BIRMINGHAM

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham An Irish dancing group gets ready to march in Birmingham's Irish quarter. Source: Katja Ogrin/Empics Entertainment

Caribbean dancers, Welsh dragons and Chinese dragons feature in the UK’s longest-running parade through Birmingham.

Live music, food, games and a pony petting area are also expected to draw crowds to a specially constructed Emerald Village outside the city’s Irish Centre.

www.stpatricksbirmingham.com

MUNICH

Germany St. Patricks Day Munich's Allianz Arena turns green for St Patrick's Day every year. Source: Matthias Schrader/AP/Press Association Images

The capital of Bavaria celebrates its Irish links with a three-day festival featuring the biggest parade in continental Europe.

Now in its 20th year, the parade ends with a party in Odeonsplatz and goes on late into the night in Irish pubs across the city.

www.stpatricksday.de

AUCKLAND

11026063_882862665068600_3740066037031647293_n Bagpipe players make their way through New Zealand's biggest city. Source: Auckland Irish Society

There’ll be plenty of action in Auckland as well, with a big parade and outdoor fleadh on Western Park.

The celebrations kick off on Wednesday when the city’s Sky Tower turns green – a nod to the big Irish community in New Zealand.

www.stpatrick.co.nz

TOKYO

141H7669 An estimated 30,000 people watched last year's parade in the Japanese capital. Source: Irish Network Japan

Tokyo’s St Patrick’s Day parade – billed as the largest in Asia – is back for a 24th year next weekend.

Irish-themed parades will also be taking place in nine smaller cities across the country: Chiba, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, Matsue, Takamatsu, Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Okinawa.

www.inj.or.jp

What are your plans for Paddy’s Day? Let us know in the comments below.

Read: Here’s what’s happening in Dublin for St Patrick’s Day

Read: NYC mayor ends boycott of St Patrick’s Day parade after gay ban reversed

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About the author:

Catherine Healy

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