March 04, 2015 12:58 ET

It's All Things St. Patrick at

17 Things You Won't Believe About Saint Patrick's Day Parades Around the World

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Mar 4, 2015) - On Tuesday, March 17th, the Irish and the wannabe Irish from across the globe will don their greenest garb to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It's amazing to witness the transformation from what began as a religious feast to become THE celebration of all things Irish. The pinnacle of all the green-filled festivities is, of course, the St. Patrick's Day parade. With everything from floats and marching bands to shamrocks and jigs, these celebrations roll through cities and towns in almost every corner of the world. Most of the parades have an interesting story behind them, and the travel experts at, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, are here with the scoop on 17 Things You Won't Believe about Saint Patrick's Day Parades around the World.

Here are seven fun facts about traditional, or less traditional, St. Patrick's Day parades from near and far.

  • It's everywhere! - There are loads of St. Patrick's parades in Japan. In fact, there are lots of parades in all sorts of places where you least expect them. The parade in Berlin is huge, for example, and Moscow has a whole series of events for St. Patrick's Day. Montreal holds the oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in Canada and there's an Irish ball in Baku. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi there'll be big nights out. Even the Irish pubs in Ulan Bator will be bedecked in green and serving Irish cuisine. We'd like to think it's because there's global love for the Irish people, but it could just be because Guinness is brewed in more than 50 countries around the world.

  • Everybody wants the shortest parade - The current shortest parade is apparently held in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It's a mere 293 feet. The title used to be held by Dripsey in Ireland where the tiny parade was basically a stumble between the only two pubs in the village, but one of the pubs closed down in 2007. Other places that compete for the title include Maryville, Missouri, Boulder, Colorado, and Pendleton, Oregon. It's a parade, guys -- there's no shame in letting it last longer than a block.

  • One person can be a parade - The world's smallest parade has been held in Enterprise, Alabama, every year since 1993. It consists of only one person, of Irish-descent of course, who walks a single block and back. The parade's turning point is the Boll Weevil Monument, possibly the world's only monument to an insect.

  • The pot of gold is for buying a jet pack - The Chicago River has famously been dyed green for St. Paddy every year since 1962. In 2014, a man dressed as a leprechaun used a water jet pack to float above the emerald water. No doubt this was such a surreal sight that many onlookers decided it really was a leprechaun and went home to sober up.

  • It's really a Welsh holiday - The most historically appropriate parade is held in Banwen, Wales. St. Patrick, real name Maewyn Succat, was born in Banwen in 385AD. He was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16 and sold as a slave in Ireland. Years later after coming back to Wales a free man, he then decided to head back to Ireland to do a bit of missionary work and so a legend was born.

  • The holiday used to be sober - It's hard to believe, but for more than 60 years, pubs and bars in Ireland were not allowed to open on March 17. This party-pooping law was ditched during the 1970s. People as far away as Algeria could hear the whole of Ireland sighing in collective relief when the good news was announced.

  • Older than the U.S. - Yup, two of the U.S.'s most legendary parades are older than the country. New York's first official parade was held in 1766. Irishmen, soldiers recruited to serve in the American colonies, marked the day 10 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Boston's first recorded parade was in 1737. The public holiday in the city, however, is called Evacuation Day and commemorates one particularly legendary St. Patrick's Day. On March 17, 1776 General John Henry Knox and his troops positioned 55 cannons on Dorchester Heights and added to the numbers by cutting down trees and painting them black to resemble cannons. When the British saw all the cannons on the Heights they left Boston.

To get the skinny on more St. Patrick's Day festivities, including parades in Seattle, Dallas, New York, New Orleans, Illinois and Iowa, Missouri, Syracuse, Berlin, Russia and Tokyo, visit

About, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 17.5 million visitors a month -- plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights ( and momondo ( brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen and Boston with a consumer base across more than 30 core international markets but users all over the world.

Follow us on Twitter:
Follow us on Facebook:

Contact Information