On March 17th, America turns green: St. Patrick's Day comes with parades, theme parties, and gallons of dyed beer. Learn about the Irish tradition in the USA and where to spend St. Patrick's Day in the United States in 2022.
St. Patrick's Day was originally a religious celebration in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. In Ireland, the day was traditionally celebrated quietly within the family circle.
St. Patrick's Day has many nicknames in the States and is often called "Paddy's Day," "St. Paddy's," "St. Patty's," or simply "St. Patrick's" for short. If you ask an actual Irish person, they will probably give you "Paddy's Day" as the only acceptable shortcut.
On the Irish national holiday, Americans dress in green - either from head to toe or at least as a piece of clothing. Even food and drinks are served in garish green, thanks to food coloring.
The origins of this tradition are said to lie in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, during which wearing shamrocks and green clothing became a symbol of national identity.
The three-leaf clover (also called the "shamrock") is the unofficial national symbol of Ireland, and no St. Patrick's Day decoration should be without it. From shamrock glasses to shamrock-shaped floats on the countless St. Patrick's Day parades, you'll see it a lot on March 17th.
You'll also encounter a green-clad goblin in many places: the Leprechaun. He is a creature of Irish mythology who is said to guard the gold at the end of the rainbow.
In the United States, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated not only in bars and Irish pubs but everywhere on the streets. Thus, spectacular parades, events, and Irish-themed parties take place in various US cities.
If you are looking for the best event on St. Patrick's Day, you might want to visit the Irish strongholds of the USA: Boston, New York, and Chicago!
However, many other cities such as New Orleans in the US state of Louisiana, San Antonio in Texas, or Philadelphia in Pennsylvania also have great parades and events. Depending on the city, the annual St. Patrick's Day celebrations sometimes begin in early March and culminate between March 17th and March 20th.
Visit the USA for St. Patrick's Day
Do you want to visit Chicago, New York, or Boston on St. Patrick's Day? Then book your trip here - and don't forget to apply for your ESTA!
New York's St. Patrick's Day parade is the largest and one of the most historic parades in America. The gigantic procession along Fifth Avenue takes about five hours to pass by the approximately 2 million spectators.
Save the date: The St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York always takes place on March 17th, unless that day falls on a Sunday. If so, the parade is moved to the 16th.
In Boston, the "Irish capital of the USA," around 23 % of the population is descended from Irish immigrants. Therefore, the city proudly organizes a big parade every year, with about one million spectators lining the streets of Boston.
Save the date: The big celebration in South Boston will take place on March 20th this year. The parade starts at 1 p.m.
Thousands of spectators gather in the city every year to watch this event and the following parade. This year, the color show in Chicago took place on March 12th.
San Antonio in Texas turns the river green just like Chicago, but the color lasts much longer here because of the slow-moving San Antonio River. Along the banks, the crowd goes wild when the legendary St. Patrick's Day River Parade strides along the two-and-a-half-mile promenade.
Save the date: This year, the San Antonio River will be colored twice: March 17th, and 19th, both at 1 p.m. The parade is yours to admire on March 19th, starting at 4 p.m.
Even in Savannah in the state of Georgia, green water flows around St. Patrick's Day - at least in the city fountain. Moreover, the St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah is one of the largest in the United States. More than 400,000 people take part every year.
Save the date: This year, the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah kicks off at 10:15 a.m. on March 17th.
Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio, is the founder of the legendary "Green Beer" tradition. Students kick off their spring break festivities with the colored swill - a one-of-a-kind party you should not miss.
Save the date: "Green Beer Day" in Ohio is celebrated annually on the Thursday before Miami University's spring break and thus will be held on March 17th this year.
The St. Patrick's Day parade in Pittsburgh attracts 500,000 spectators every year, and visitors get a very special treat: From 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Pittsburgh Police Department officially turns a blind eye to alcohol consumption on public streets. This is an absolute no-go almost everywhere else in the USA. This year, the St. Patrick's Day group booze-up in Pittsburgh hits on March 12th.
You probably didn't know these stunning facts about St. Patrick's Day in the USA: