Held on the 17th of March every year, Saint Patrick’s Day is a festival that is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
Though it has obvious Irish roots, the celebration has been extended to several locations in different countries across the world. From the United States of America and the United Kingdom to Argentina, Singapore and Japan, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a significant part of many countries’ cultural and even religious identity.
Take a look at this infographic by Betway online casino to see where and how it’s celebrated:
The staggering number of participants and the large boom in business activities it creates cannot be overstated during this period. It’s a celebration so massive that in the U.S alone, around $5.1 billion was spent during the 2021 Saint Patrick’s Day, despite the many covid-related restrictions imposed by the health authorities. Pre-covid days the numbers were closer to $6 Billion.
However, due to the increase in sales of alcohol by approximately, a whopping 150% on the day, a death as a result of drinking and driving is recorded every 30 minutes. Data also shows that the sales of the famous Guinness beer rise by 819% in 2021. It’s believed that 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed worldwide.
Another fun fact: it’s estimated that 79%-80% of celebrants wear green-colored clothes during this period.
In the US
Although Saint Patrick’s Day has not been set aside as a public holiday in the United States, it is widely recognized and celebrated across the country, even though only about 32 million people (9.7%) identify themselves as being of Irish descent. This unique cultural celebration is contagious in a good way, bringing people of all ethnicities together.
Let’s take a look at 4 major cities and how they celebrated, on this challenging year.
People of Irish descent are of a large number in Boston and this ensures the city remains one of the world’s prime locations for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The glamorous Shamrocks, parades, festivals, the Boston Celtics games and other activities are all part of this unique celebration in Boston.
This year, the parade was cancelled and alternative activities were encouraged like self-guided walks of the Irish heritage trail and of course local restaurants offered special menus available for indoor, winterized outdoor or takeout.
New York City
The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade held in New York City is the largest and oldest parade in the world. The parade has been done continually in the big city every year since 1762. This is just fourteen years prior to the Declaration of Independence that established the United States of America.
The 2021 celebration marked the 260th St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. During this year’s online celebration, a set of people known as the parade leaders joined a selected number of First Responders and Essential Workers who all offered prayers for all the victims of the coronavirus pandemic and also victims of the 9/11 attacks, marking the 20th anniversary of the disaster via the live stream event
Due to covid-19 restrictions, there was a virtual parade, a one-hour-long show streamed on Social media platforms among other entertainment features.
The city of Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the United States where people gather in large numbers to celebrate St. Paddy’s day. This could be because there are more Irish-Americans living in the city compared to other parts of the country. On this day, Chicagoans are known for their unique style of St. Paddy’s parade, which is one of the best in the country during the celebration – an impressive main parade, the South Side Irish Parade and of course the dyeing of the Chicago River in green. Unfortunately, all have failed to hold this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the government’s position on large gatherings.
Nevertheless, people were allowed to put on green outfits and took advantage of the period to have a taste of some of the traditional Irish dishes.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Philadelphia Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was canceled due to the pandemic. The Saint Patrick’s Day Observance Association stated it had to be canceled after ‘significant consideration.’
The Parade, which would have been the 250th of such, has now been moved to the 13th of March, 2022. The theme will be “Faith, Family, Friendship, and Heritage.”.
This year the city had to celebrate quietly, online and at home and is hoping for compensation next year, as do all other cities.