World's best St Patrick's Day parties

For the celebration of the national saint of one, relatively small country, St Patrick's Day has assumed proportions way beyond Ireland's borders.

This year looks likely to be bigger than ever, with more sights around the world going green to mark the occasion. From Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Paris to the Niagara Falls – even the World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan is joining the so-called "Global Greening" this year.

Here, we look at some of the St Patrick's Day parades around the world.

Dublin, Ireland

Clearly the Irish capital is one of the biggest venues for those looking to celebrate the country's national saint. From March 14 to 17, expect parades, street carnivals and all manner of free entertainment - and come dressed for the weather. Of course, it's not just about Dublin. Events will be taking place around the country, including Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick. There's also a film festival taking place in Dingle. For more information, see the Discover Ireland website (

New York City, USA

With more than 150,000 participants, this is the world's biggest St Patrick's Day parade, bar none. It marches along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on the Sunday before the day itself, and has been going since before the Declaration of Independence, having started in 1762. If you can't be there, you can watch it live on the website.

Boston, USA


Another American city with a proud Irish heritage, Boston as ever, has a packed schedule for St Patrick's Day, with festivals and exhibitions taking place throughout March including the Boston Flower and Garden show. Run since 1901, this is the second largest event of its kind in the US.

Fifteen Beacon: This luxury hotel, on Boston's historic Beacon Hill, has a special 'Luck O the Irish' St Patrick's Day package, including 10 per cent off the best available room and specialty St Patrick's Day cocktails. From March 14 to 23. Read the full hotel review here

For full details of the parade, see the BostonUSA tourism website

Chicago, USA

Another city that goes green around this time of year - and in Chicago's case, quite literally. It will include the 'greening' of the home of the Chicago Bears football team, the city's Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, Trump International Hotel & Tower, the Wrigley Building, Chicago Board of Trade, and Millennium Park, among other buildings.

The centrepiece of the celebrations is the river, which is dyed green each year (a "modern day miracle"). "This spectacular transformation ranks right up there with the parting of the seas by Moses and the Pyramids of Egypt," claims the city's St Patrick's Day Committee. You will also be able to catch a glimpse of the new Chicago Saint Patrick's Day Queen, a competition open to any girl of Irish ancestry aged between 17 and 27 who has never married.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The residents of Buenos Aires are certainly no strangers to late-night revelry. More than 50,000 people celebrate St Patrick's Day each year. Around 10 blocks of the city are closed to traffic, allowing green-clad party-goers to take to the streets.

The parade on March 17 ends up in Plaza San Martin, while other celebrations also take place in Plaza Irlanda.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Celebrations in the Northern Ireland city sound interesting this year, with the parade theme described as "St Patrick re-imagined as a time-travelling adventurer on a colourful journey to the future of Belfast."

The parade leaves Belfast City Hall at noon, and finishes at Custom House Square where there will be a free concert (first come, first served).

Munich, Germany

An annual parade has taken place in Munich since 1996. This year's march ends in the city's Odeonsplatz and is followed by a programme of Irish music and dance. There's Irish Mass on Saturday March 15, followed by a 'Paddy's Night Out'. The parade and after party take place on Sunday March 16.

London, England

There's a wide range of events for 2014, with the main celebrations taking place in Trafalgar Square. Over 100,000 people are expected to take part in the festivities, which include a comedy festival, and a parade which follows a 1.5-mile route before finishing in Whitehall. The London Eye will go green once again this year for St Patrick's Day as part of "the Global Greening. Other buildings set to go green include Manchester Town Hall and the new SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Click here for more information on St Patrick's Day celebrations in London.

Manchester, England

Manchester's Irish Festival takes place this weekend. Sunday's parade will finish at Albert Square, marking the beginning of the festival on the Square. There will be floats, bands, dancing, and all counties of Ireland represented.

Manchester Town Hall will also be lit green as part of Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening" initiative to celebrate St Patrick's Day and draw attention to the country. March 13 to 16;

Birmingham, England

One of the biggest parades in England, this started in 1996 and has grown exponentially since then.

The main parade takes place in Digbeth on Sunday, March 16. The Visit Birmingham website says: "Whilst being unmistakably Irish at the core, the Parade increasingly mirrors the fantastic diversity of ethnicities as it welcomes guest appearances from other communities".

Montserrat, Caribbean

The Caribbean island, where there was a huge volcanic eruption in 1997, has a fascinating link to Ireland, celebrated each year with a week-long festival culminating in St Patrick's Day. It is also a commemoration of the slave uprising on the same day in 1768. There area traditional games, story telling, and a kite-flying festival.

This year's celebration goes from March 9 to 18.

Sydney, Australia

Due to time difference, Australia will kick off the celebrations. The country has marked St Patrick's Day since 1810, when the Governor of New South Wales Lachlan Macquarie declared the date an official day of celebration. This year, there will be entertainment, music and dancing on Sydney's George Street before the main parade begins at noon at the corner of Bathurst Street and George Street. Following that, there is a "family day" in Hyde Park North from 1pm, where the Australian and Irish National Anthems will be sung, followed by local Irish bands and musicians until 6.30pm.

Tokyo, Japan

Proudly billing itself as "the first St Patrick's Day in the Northern Hemisphere", according to the Irish Network Japan. It's the 21st parade this year, and the biggest of all the celebrations of Ireland's national saint in Asia. The parade starts at 2pm on March 17 at Omotesando Hills and lasts about two hours. There are more than 1500 participants and 50,000 visitors in this event sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland.

The Telegraph, London