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St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

What originally began as a feast day in Ireland, designated to commemorate the country’s patron saint (and rumored snake exorcist) during the seventeenth century has gradually shifted into a celebration of Irish culture in general.  Each year, celebrations around the globe grow larger and wider, retailers sell out of witty “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts, and more and more people join in on the party. While St. Patrick’s Day is an official holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Montserrat, in America, the Irish (and ‘Irish for a Day’) are still expected to show up for work. Back in 2008, the makers of Guinness publically supported Proposition 3-17 (clever, right), which was an effort to officially name St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday here in America. Although that initiative fell short, at Auto Europe, we believe this is still a holiday meant for momentous celebration—even if you’ll  only be celebrating inside your cubicle. Get into the Irish spirit by checking out how the rest of the world goes green!

Outside of the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

Outside of the Guinness Storehouse, St. James’s Gate Dublin Image Courtesy of mikelo CreativeCommons.org

Dublin
It’s safe to say that any St. Paddy’s Day event you’re likely to attend this year will pale in comparison to the excitement and atmosphere of those held in Dublin. For starters, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just a day in Dublin, it’s several. Also, is there really any activity that could get more quintessentially Irish than walking through the mothership of the Guinness legacy, the Guinness Storehouse? OK, well maybe, but we still think it’s a fun opportunity, especially given the time frame. St. Patrick’s Day is the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries than any other, so naturally, the rest of the world looks to Dublin to set the standard. This year, festival organizers announced the development of a three-year theme and narrative for the city’s parade of ‘Past, Present and Future’, adopting the commemorative era in Ireland’s history as its inspiration. 2014’s ‘Let’s Make History’, draws on the ‘Past’, and is the first step on this creative and innovative journey. In 2015, organizers will focus on the ‘Present’, ultimately leading up to 2016’s ‘Future’ theme, which will ultimately pose the question of “where does the city see itself in the next 100 years?”

London
During the days leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day, the streets of London run green. Over 100,000 people flock to the city to take part in the array of activities happening throughout the weekend with the majority of the celebrations happening in Trafalgar Square. Accessible to all audiences, this festival aims to transfer the experience of Irish culture to all Londoners and visitors. London’s St. Paddy’s Day parade celebrates the deep roots of Irish communities in London, as well as the present-day energy and vibrance that are both so commonly associated with the holiday. The theme for 2014’s schedule of events is ‘World of Dance’, celebrating Ireland’s rich heritage of dance. Festival goers will have the ability to see dancers from all backgrounds come together to create awe-inspiring performances, alongside meticulously designed floats, well-practiced marching bands and proud members of international sports clubs.

St. Patrick's Day Copenhagen

Participants at last year’s three-legged race in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen
Surprised Copenhagen made the list? Don’t be! The events on offer around St. Patrick’s Day are on par with many of the other big-name locales mentioned here, but the event that really captured our attention is all in the name of charity. Leave it up to the Danes to put a creative (and profitable) spin on the three-legged race. On St. Patrick’s Day, the 700 race participants (dressed head to toe in green), don’t just line up and head for the finish line, no my friends, that simply would not suffice! Instead, they dash to Irish pubs along the way, stopping to consume at least half a pint of beer at each location. All proceeds raised go directly to three charities; one international, one Danish and one Irish.

Belfast
Lively parades, packed pubs, and green for as far as the eye can see is what’s on tap for St. Patrick’s Day in Belfast. The city comes alive with a colorful carnival atmosphere that is enjoyable for the entire family. These events are kicked off by a high-energy parade filled with eye-catching floats, street performers and musical acts. Belfast’s city center becomes awash with color and splendor as the parade moves through the city, and one event seamlessly dissolves into another. Sober Saint Patrick’s Day is an organization that will be present during the celebrations in Belfast this year, as well as in a number of other big cities, including several in the United States. Striving to create a positive atmosphere for all members of the family, Sober Saint Patrick’s Day hopes to change the perception and experience of what the holiday can be by providing alcohol-free events celebrating the best of Irish music, dance and comedy.

Sydney
Accordions and fiddles, banjos and guitars, it’s all here on March 17th in the land down under! In Australia, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have taken place since the early 1800s, and over the years, cities throughout the country have started using this holiday as an opportunity to raise money for several worthy causes. Through the sale of raffle tickets and event entry fees, thousands of dollars have been raised for local charities. The Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the second largest in the world, after New York’s celebrations, and hungry travelers will find many local establishments completely decked out in green, serving up authentic Irish meals for the day. For several days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, the Sydney Opera House will be illuminated in a vibrant shade of Emerald Green, as part of this year’s “global greening”. In addition to the Sydney Opera House, numerous landmarks around the world will also be participating in this year’s event, an initiative that puts Ireland and Northern Ireland in the global spotlight.

Car Rental Ireland

Several of the famous landmarks that will be illuminated during his year’s “global greening”.

Whether you plan on parading down the street in your hometown, joining the party in one of the largest cities in the world, or simply watching the day’s events unfold from your office window, Saint Patrick’s Day is a shared celebration with the same pride and love of life and of community at its heart. The global link with Ireland has been kept alive over the generations, and through a myriad of exciting annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Irish culture has been introduced to millions throughout the world.  Feeling inspired to take that trip to Ireland you’ve always dreamed of? St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to start putting those plans into motion. Let Auto Europe help you plan every facet of your next vacation, from the guaranteed best rates on car rentals, to discounted rates on airfare and hotel accommodations, why would you choose to do business with anyone else? Reservations for car rentals can be made today by utilizing our intuitive, three-step booking engine, or by contacting us toll-free at 1-888-223-5555. At home or on vacation, Auto Europe encourages you to celebrate all holidays responsibly by always opting to designate a driver. Never draw the short straw again! For your convenience, we also offer chauffeur and transfer services as an alternative form of transportation to facilitate both a safe and fun experience.

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