St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland vs. State Side

I have no ancestry connection to Ireland only a personal one.

I have celebrated Paddy’s day in Ireland 4 times and each time was a little different. Before that, I would never celebrate Paddy’s day because I am not Irish.  I’d see the “Irish” themed stuff all over the store, McD’s had the green drink and the green beer. So when I went to Ireland, I was excepting the same. I was wrong. There were Paddy’s day theme hats, beads, face paints; parades, but all around a community, coming together, telling stories, and singing trade music.  I think there is a difference between how Ireland celebrates and how State Side celebrates; good or bad there is always something like how it’s Paddy’s day, not Patties Day.  I asked some of my Irish friends and study buddies who were in Ireland what they think the difference was and this is what they said.

Question: What do you think is the difference between paddies day in Ireland vs. America?

Paddy’s day is getting very Americanised and commercialised…I suppose in Ireland it’s a national holiday and all schools and workplaces are closed across the country. There’s loads of small-town parades too. Like nearly every small town or village has a parade. And school is Patricks day mad-art projects, handwriting, Irish and music and songs, Irish dancing in PE. Like it just takes over the whole education system for a week. The actual story of saint patrick is a very big thing here… I don’t know is America so into the holy and religious side of things.”

“It was more of a family affair, at least in the smaller counties. Kids and families at the parade having fun. In America I feel like people just use it as an excuse to get drunk, many don’t even know the reasoning behind the holiday.”

“It doesn’t revolve around going to the pub and drinking Guinness… I think it’s portrayed a bit like that when you go outside of Ireland. I think it’s about celebrating being Irish, but I’d like to think it brings a mix of all cultures/backgrounds after all st. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. It’s more about the little things that make you Irish or appreciate being from Ireland.”

“Americans think leprechauns are real in Ireland and that’s what they associate us with and especially for st Patrick’s day which isn’t true at all. Paddy’s day for us is having the absolute craic with your friends listening to  trad music and enjoying the atmosphere drinking a cold pint of Guinness in a bear garden”

“Paddy’s day here can be a big family day, go to parades, kids have concerts in their schools, make cards and green food like pancakes.. for teens/twenty-somethings it can be an excuse for a piss up, always a rugby match on which brings a great atmosphere, lots of singing Irish songs..”

“I think Irish people are generally indifferent to the celebration of it, what it represents, etc. “

“I think in Ireland it’s more of a national holiday and celebration of our heritage whereas in America it’s more of a culturally appropriated celebration simply because of the vast amount of Irish there. Paddy’s day is kind of like our 4th of July.”

“In Ireland, it’s more likely a part of their culture and their history. And it’s not that there aren’t Irish people or people with Irish heritage in America because there are, but it’s more likely just an excuse to make everything green, talk about leprechauns and four-leaf clovers, and drink (green) beer. ”

“Dublin on Paddy’s day is more foreign people than Irish people so that’s defo not the place to go if you want a real Irish Patrick day experience!” _BFF 

“I feel like it’s more commercial here (America)? Like people are more likely to wear cheesy Irish hats and stuff.  It felt casual in Ireland.”


I think all those are spot on. I honestly think St. Patrick’s day is way better in Ireland, especially outside of Dublin (sorry people from Dublin who read this), I am talking in the city of Dublin, I bet a small town or village in Dublin is great craic! I think its very culturally insensitive State side-sometimes- blame the movie Luck of The Irish (Disney).  My first Paddy’s day back was a bit of a shock, it wasn’t anything like in Ireland no one was talking to people they don’t know, there was not that Irish community happening, there were music but typical music that you would have heard of. There was a guy with a Hurley stick in a bar showing off to a girl, that was funny because he couldn’t bounce the ball on the Hurley.  I honestly personally think St. Patrick’s day has become this commercialize, everyone Irish thing, but for people who are Irish it’s more than that, maybe not for most like one of my friends says everyone has a different take on it.

Have you celebrated St. Patrick’s day in Ireland.

What are your thoughts? What do you think is the difference between Ireland and America Paddies day?