The 17th of March is known as the day we celebrate one of the biggest festivities in the world; St. Patrick’s Day. Each year, people from across the globe come together to pay tribute to the patron saint of Ireland and the intriguing Irish culture!
However, this Paddy’s Day* will be like no other before (check out the glossary below to fully understand the Irish terms that will be mentioned throughout this blog, each will have an asterisk next to it just like this one has!).
Let’s Look Back at Past St. Paddy’s Day Celebrations and Get Excited for the Ones Ahead!
Ireland may be special, but the country or its national day is not exempted from how things have changed in the world over the last 12 months. And therefore, due to the pandemic, there won’t be any St. Patrick’s Day parties or parades this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at previous celebrations and allow ourselves to get excited for when we get to mark the occasion once more in the future!
Considering that Premier TEFL is an Irish company, we couldn’t be more eager to reach a time when we will be able to safely enjoy our national festival together again. Saying that we can all still get so much joy from simply reflecting on the good times that have already gone by in the past. And interestingly enough, some of those haven’t even been in Ireland!
St. Patrick’s Day In Ireland
Now don’t get us wrong, the events that are organized here are great. There are always local parades in each town across the country, as well as huge ones in big cities like Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway. Paddy’s Day really is one of the biggest dates in the Irish calendar. The craic* is always absolutely mighty!
Everyone dresses up in green, with children planning their outfits for weeks in advance. The youngsters love being immersed into the crowds of people, trying their best to get a glimpse at the hundreds of parade floats, marching bands, dancers, gymnasts, acrobats, soldiers, and celebs that pass by. They get their face painted and guilt their parents into buying them balloons, flags, or whatever other St. Patrick’s Day merchandise is being sold, before heading away to the nearest bouncy castle party.
And speaking of parties, the adults celebrate for days on end during these festivities. Every bar, restaurant, pub, and club is full to the brim of grown men wearing green wigs or leprechaun* hats, with the ladies wearing fake shamrocks* in their hair and “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” t-shirts
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St. Patrick’s Day Around the World
But because St. Patrick’s Day is recognized worldwide and the occasion is celebrated on such a huge global scale, the best Paddy’s Day events have taken place in many countries other than the Emerald Isle* itself. In fact, lots of our own TEFL teachers have been lucky enough to experience how the day is marked whilst on their travels abroad. So here is a roundup of their favorite foreign locations to enjoy the iconic Irish festival:
1. Singapore City, Singapore
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade that takes place in Singapore City is the largest celebration in Southeast Asia. These guys are so devoted to the special day that they even dye the Singapore river green!
Not only that, but the people also dress up in costumes and run fun activities throughout the town. From seeing the awesome Harley – Davidson convoy lead the pack at the main event, to enjoying the music, dancing, and drinking that goes on afterward, Singapore’s attempt at praising the Irish will not disappoint.
2. Montserrat, West Indies
Montserrat in the West Indies is a small island, just like Ireland. In fact, it’s even known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. But the difference is that this place is volcanic, and boy, is the St. Patrick’s Day celebration a blast!
Montserrat is the only country other than Ireland where Paddy’s Day is considered to be a public holiday. The celebration’s here actually last longer than even the Irish ones themselves as they go on for a full ten days. There are two reasons as to why this occasion holds such significance to the Montserrat people, one of which is quite the opposite of what St. Patrick’s Day might mean to the majority of others around the world.
Like everywhere else, one of the reasons for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montserrat is to acknowledge Irish culture and influence. However, Paddy’s Day also acts as a time to remember when ten white Europeans (seven of them being Irish) tried to colonize this Caribbean island in the 17th century. Thankfully the Irish attempt to enslave the Montserrat locals was unsuccessful as there were brave locals to put a stop to it. Therefore, making the second reason for the celebrations a time to mark the country’s independence and appreciate those who fought for it.
So, amongst the Irish jigs* and colorful top hats*, whips are also part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is done to mock the failure of the Irish attempt to take over Montserrat and honor the indigenous people who rebelled against it. We are glad both our countries can now celebrate the public holiday and have a good time, despite the bad history. All in all, it is definitely safe to say that this country’s St. Patrick’s Day festival stands out from the crowd!
3. Tokyo, Japan
The capital of Japan is another place that you will be sure to find plenty of celebrations on March 17th. The Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade started in 1992 as a way to introduce Irish culture into Japan, and it’s only gotten bigger and better ever since!
The fun event is the perfect family-friendly street party. Children and parents enjoy marching bands, Irish dancers and musicians, face painting, and even get to pet Irish Wolfhounds*. And when the daytime celebrations have ended, the nighttime ones begin to start. Adults flock to the streets with so much green clothing you could almost believe you’re in Temple Bar* and flee to the few Irish pubs around in order to secure a safe place to go raise their pints in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick.
And that’s not even the end of it. More celebrations are held on the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. The “I Love Ireland Festival” continues to pay more appreciation to Irish culture and with over 100,000 visitors, it is a brilliant way to strengthen the already beautiful bond that exists between Japanese and Irish people.
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4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is home to the largest Irish community in a non-English-speaking country, so it is no surprise that Buenos Aires goes big on St. Patrick’s Day. Half a million Irish people, plus all the locals and visitors, start their day by attending the first event that is called BA Celebra Irlanda. This is an open-air festival, and though it might not be a parade as such, the craic is still mighty (there’s that term again)!
After enjoying the folk dancing and experiencing some traditional Irish food, as well as a U2* tribute band, the rest of the celebrations start to begin. As Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, this place has plenty of pubs and clubs to go party the night away. Between sports bars hosting 13 hours long St. Paddy’s Day events, brewing companies offering lucky attendees to win beer barrels, and of course the option of going on the old reliable pub crawl, you’ll be sure to have a good time on St. Patrick’s Day in this Argentinian city.
5. Dubai, U.A.E
Forget the phrase painting the town red because it’s more like lighting it up green when you see what Dubai does for St. Paddy’s Day!
In 2019, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was added to the “Global Greenings”. This is when iconic buildings light up green to pay tribute to Ireland’s National Day, and it will be Dubai’s third year participating in 2021. There is even an Irish village in the midst of this major city and of course it is the center of attention each time March 17th comes around!
Ok well when we say village, it might just be a big pub with a large outdoor area. But, that sounds like heaven for anyone from Ireland and guarantees people from all walks of life get a true Irish experience when they visit the place, especially on St. Patrick’s Day! The 3-day event is known for the immense fun that takes place there, including a petting zoo, face painting, and bouncy castles for children. But for any thirsty TEFL teachers, they’ll be glad to know there are plenty of traditional Irish bands to listen to and loads of Irish dancers to watch whilst sipping away on a pint of the Black Stuff*.
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St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Will Come Again
So depending on where you are in the world, the usual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations may or may not be going ahead this year. But like we have seen, the Paddy’s Day events that have taken place in the past have been pretty damn awesome. And they will come again!
Despite the circumstances we are living through now, it is important to keep hopeful and look forward to the good times that will return. And the parties that will happen worldwide on each March 17th will definitely be one of them!
If you haven’t attended an Irish festival abroad, doing a TEFL course and becoming a TEFL teacher in a foreign country is the perfect way to fix that problem. We provide a variety of teaching English courses and there is a huge demand for these types of jobs in all the countries listed above. In fact, we even have paid TEFL internships in or near some of them.
And So Will Your Chances to Travel Too
Check out the career opportunities we offer in Buenos Aires, Argentina to work in South America. This trip will get you closer to visiting the likes of Montserrat in the West Indies, not to mention the other beautiful Caribbean Islands of the Bahamas and Barbados! Likewise, take a look at the plenty of internships we do in Asia. Countries such as Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Taiwan, and Thailand are waiting to be discovered. And by working here, you can easily jet off to nearby Singapore, Tokyo, and Dubai for your holidays! Sounds ideal, right?
Get TEFL Certified Now, So You Can Be Prepared to Live Your Dream Later
Well, it’s time to turn your travel dreams into a reality. Remember studying a TEFL course and getting your TEFL certification is the first step in pursuing these plans, and what better time to complete something like this than when there is nothing much else to be doing in the world.
Book your TEFL course today, so you can be prepared to travel at the word “go”. Do your future self a favor and prepare for the moment when you can start living your dream. Come on board with us now and thank yourself later. And who knows, maybe you and the Premier TEFL team will find themselves drinking pints in an Irish bar on Paddy’s Day in a country you never would have imagined even visiting, never mind working in. We’re looking forward to it already, are you?
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Glossary for All Those Irish Terms:
Paddy’s Day: The informal (but just as popular) way of referring to St. Patrick’s Day.
Craic: Fun, e.g – “He’s great craic!”.
Leprechaun: A mystical character from Irish folklore. Leprechauns are depicted as short men with red beards. They are dressed in green suits and top hats, who hide their pots of gold at the ends of rainbows, and are known for getting up to mischief. On the contrary to popular belief, Ireland does not actually have leprechauns. Like said, they are part of the folklore, meaning they are fictional.
Shamrock: 3 leafed plant which represents luck and used as the national emblem of Ireland after St. Patrick made it a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. Not to be confused with the 4 leafed plant, which is indeed; a clover.
An Irish jig: An Irish dance! Known in Ireland as Irish dancing and takes place at Gaelic gatherings called a céilí.
A top hat: Tall hats that were traditionally worn by Irish men, but now usually only seen on St. Patrick’s Day as part of Paddy’s Day costumes.
Irish Wolfhound: A very large dog that is bred in Ireland, and due to its substantial size often featured in Irish literature and mythology.
Temple Bar: The center of Dublin city’s nightlife, as well as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland.
U2: The most successful band to come from Ireland. This rock band began in the late 70s and are still extremely popular to this day. Their lead singer, Bono, is considered to be one of the most famous Irish people in history, and Irish people are very proud of how big the band became despite originating in such a small country.
Black Stuff: Guinness, e.g – “I’ll order a pint of the Black Stuff”. Highly recommended by all Irish people.
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