The Strangest St. Patrick’s Day Traditions Out There

Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day, people! The big day is tomorrow, so make sure to wear green and avoid getting pinched by strangers. We’re pretty excited to head out to a parade and then meet friends at a pub for a pint, or three, of green Guinness. While you are out partaking in perfectly mainstream St. Patty’s Day traditions, other people around the world are up to, err, odder things to commemorate the great Irish saint. After the jump, the most out-there St. Patrick’s rituals.

  • New York City already has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, so why the heck is there another one in Hoboken, New Jersey, just 20 minutes away … two weeks before St. Patrick’s Day? I guess it’s the opening act, so to speak. If you want to get a jump-start on the holiday, journey to Hoboken for Irish step dancing, floats, and music.
  • We know that Chicago has mad Irish pride. But do they need to dye the Chicago River green to prove it? I guess so, considering that’s what they’ve been doing for the last 40 years.
  • In case you were wondering—yes, they celebrate St. Patty’s Day Down Under. In Brisbane, Australia, they have a parade that includes the “Irish Historical Story.” Residents dress up as teachers, widows and orphans, sugar cane cutters, gold miners, lawyers and stockmen to show how people of all traditions helped build the Australian nation. Is that supposed to be fun?
  • You know that you’re in the Irish capital of Nebraska when you approach O’Neil and see the world’s largest shamrock painted on their highway. If that wasn’t enough for you, they also celebrate the big day with a St. Patrick’s Day festival that includes a hypnotist and a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.
  • Aren’t you jealous that you won’t be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the fun folks of New London, WI? Their giant parade features leprechauns renaming the town “New Dublin,” corned beef and cabbage served all week, and an Irish wake parody known as “Finnegan’s Wake.” They actually put a mannequin in a green hearse and have the body fly out in a wicker casket as the hearse pulls away.
  • What to do on “The Shortest Street In the World”? Have the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world. In Hot Springs, AR, the green fireworks, Irish belly dancers, and pub-crawl will be over in no time at all. Just ask the parade’s Grand Marshal, Bo Derek.