7 Most Unique Ways People Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around The World

It's not just leprechauns and shamrocks!

Cover image via Laura Jane Popp

On 17 March every year, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated across the globe by both the Irish and the Irish-at-heart

Image via SheKnows

What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland is now an international festival celebrating Irish culture, making it the most celebrated national holiday in the world.

And while the Irish commemorate the day with parades and a pint of Guinness, the rest of the world has some other ideas...

Here are the 7 most unique ways people around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day:

1. Oyster shucking in Ise, Japan

Image via Craft Gin Club

Parade-goers gather at the Ise Shrine to kick-start celebrations with Japanese and Irish flags waving side-by-side.

What people look forward to: Japanese residents performing traditional Irish jigs, playing bagpipes, and dressing up as leprechauns, as well as pop culture icons and in traditional Japanese-wear. Once the march is over, everyone gathers at the oyster festival to shuck and bake shellfish, celebrating local commerce.

Image via Laura Jane Popp

2. Multiple Irish Elvis performances at Hot Springs, Arkansas

At only 98-feet long, Bridge Street was announced to be the "Shortest Street in the World" by Ripley's Believe It or Not, making this the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade. Yet, it may be the quirkiest.

What people look forward to: Featuring Irish Elvis impersonators and the Lards of the Dance, a troupe of middle-aged Irish dancers, Hot Springs celebrates St. Paddy like no other! The parade is also host to the world's shortest wedding ceremony at under a minute, an "original kiss" competition, and Dr. Albert Habeeb - the self-proclaimed "World's Oldest Leprechaun."

3. The Freedom Run to escape slavery at Montserrat, Caribbean Sea

Image via Irish Central

Montserrat is known as the Emerald Isle and is the only other nation, aside from Ireland, where St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday. The Caribbean island has equal Irish and African heritage.

What people look forward to: The celebrations are a week long and include steel drum bands playing, a traditional Creole breakfast, and a Freedom Run that commemorates the emancipation of both Irish servants and African slaves.

4. A dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" at O’Neill, Nebraska

O'Neill is the official Irish capital of Nebraska and home to the world's largest shamrock, a large green clover painted in the middle of an intersection.

What people look forward to: The town celebrates their Irish ancestors with unusual festivities including a hypnotist, a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," a shamrock duck hunt, and the "Getting the Horse Green" event.

Image via The Antelope

5. Dyeing a river bright green in Chicago, Illinois

Image via Choose Chicago

One of the biggest celebrations in the world, Chicago goes all out for St. Patrick's Day and dyes the Chicago River bright green.

What people look forward to: With colourful floats, Irish step dancers, and marching bands of bagpipers, the festivities are huge. Close to half a million people attend the parade, which includes a ceremony where the "Parade Queen" is crowned.

Image via The Mash

6. Solo musical performances by astronauts in outer space

Image via

Many astronauts have celebrated St Patrick's Day from the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield (pictured above) recorded a cover of the Irish classic "Danny Boy" and sent it down from orbit. Meanwhile, Irish-American astronaut Cady Coleman played a 100-year old flute as a tribute in 2011.

7. Organising a parody funeral in New London, Wisconsin

Annually the naughty leprechauns will rename the town "New Dublin" by changing highway signs.

What people look forward to: The week-long festivities include an Irish wake parody known as Finnegan's Wake. A mannequin is placed in a green hearse and the body will "fly" out of the casket as the hearse pulls away. Corned beef and cabbage are served at all local restaurants, and the grand finale is the "Irish Fest," which brings together Celtic bands to perform a concert.

Image via New Dublin

This year, celebrate St. Patrick's Day with FREE pints of Guinness and the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Ireland!

Head over to the Guinness St. Patrick's Day events throughout Malaysia to enjoy the festivities and free pints!*

Guinness will be going all out to make sure that celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Malaysia will be just as epic as the ones listed above. With delicious authentic Irish food, crazy fun Irish games, exciting live band performances, and even our very own oyster shucking event to look forward to, you're definitely in for a night of endless fun!

Here are the deets:

Klang Valley
Date & Time: 17 March, 17:59pm onwards / 18 & 19 March, 13:00pm onwards
Venue: Publika

Regional Events
Date & Time: 17 March, 17:59pm onwards
- Roxbury Pub & Bistro, Penang
- Mansion Bistro & Bar, Ipoh
- Mulligan’s Signature, Johor
- The Shamrock Irish Bar, Kota Kinabalu
- The Wayang, Kuching
- Ming Café, Miri

Find out more now!

* Terms & Conditions apply.

Image via nuffnang

To win a trip for two to Dublin, all you have to do is Grab more rides!

In partnership with Grab, Guinness is giving you the opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland for the ultimate holiday.

All you have to do is enter the promo code IRELAND the next time you take a Grab. Not only will you get a RM5 discount off your first ride, every ride you take will earn you 200 St. Patrick’s kilometers. The person with the most St. Patrick’s kilometers travelled will win an all-expenses paid holiday to Dublin for two!

Find out more here!