Livestreamed music and parades: How to celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2021 online

A man celebrating St Patrick's Day poses outside the Genearl Post Office (GPO) in O'Connell Street, Dublin on March 17, 2020, as festivities were cancelled due to COVID
A man celebrating St Patrick's Day poses outside the Genearl Post Office (GPO) in O'Connell Street, Dublin on March 17, 2020, as festivities were cancelled due to COVID Copyright Paul Faith/AFP
By David Walsh
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A virtual or socially-distanced St Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean less fun. Head online to enjoy the craic.


For the second year running, the global pandemic will put pay to the usual global celebrations for St Patrick’s Day - the day the world revels in Irish culture and heritage - on 17th March.

In a normal year, some 13 million pints of Guinness would be consumed around the world as the Irish diaspora (and everyone who wants to be Irish for a day) come together to raise a glass to the Emerald Isle’s patron saint.

As with 2020, celebrations will be leaving pubs and the streets behind and heading online. Here are our top tips to still have some craic this St Patrick’s Day in safety.

Global Greening

You may have noticed on your daily lockdown saunter a flood of green light. The Global Greening, an initiative promoted by Tourism Ireland, sees famous landmarks and buildings bathed in green light to celebrate links to Ireland.

This year, a record 690 landmarks in 66 countries are taking part in what has become an annual tradition since it first started over a decade ago. Well-known sites like Sydney Opera House, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue and the Empire State Building will be lit up, along with quirkier buildings and monuments like the large Smurf statue in Brussels and an ice sauna in Tampere, Finland.

Tourism Ireland/Twitter
Clockwise from top left: Sydney Opera House, Las Vegas sign, Rio's Christ the Redeemer, Bled Castle in Slovenia.Tourism Ireland/Twitter

Virtual parades

Festivities in towns and cities across Ireland are usually marked with an annual parade. While, for obvious reasons, mass gatherings like this are not possible this year, organisers are getting creative. Irish broadcaster RTE has organised a virtual parade with children pushing their cars and toys around their gardens instead of the high street.

For more details, check out this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival programme.

World’s oldest St Paddy’s Day parade

Did you know the oldest St Patrick’s Day parade is not one that takes place in Ireland? The annual parade in New York City has taken place uninterrupted since 1762 - and the city isn’t about to die now. This year’s event - which will honour frontline health workers and first responders - will be much smaller in scale due to the pandemic. Timings for the parade are still to be confirmed to avoid people congregating in large numbers. It will be livestreamed.

Craig Ruttle/AP
Bagpipers with the NYPD Emerald Society walk past St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York as they take part in the 2018 St. Patrick's Day parade.Craig Ruttle/AP

Guinness and a trad music session

While Irish pubs are closed due to pandemic restrictions in most countries (please check local COVID-19 guidance), that shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy a pint of the Black Stuff (responsibly, of course) while tapping along to some traditional Irish music. Tourism Ireland will be hosting a 90-minute broadcast of live music from three beloved pubs in Dublin, Dingle, and Belfast on YouTube, Facebook, and online from 8 pm CET.

Find out all the details on how to watch here.

Brian Morrison/Tourism Ireland
In normal times, a typical trad music session in a pub on St Patrick's Day. This year will be different.Brian Morrison/Tourism Ireland

Going green for the day

Given his proclivity for using shamrocks as teaching aids, you could say St Patrick was somewhat green-fingered. This St Patrick’s Day, why not get stuck into some gardening or nature-based activities? The Green Roots Project is encouraging families to do something different and eco-conscious to celebrate St Patrick this year, whether planting trees, flowers, and vegetables, starting a compost heap, making a bug hotel, or upcycling clothing.

Find out more about the campaign and find out how to get involved here.

Every weekday at 21.00 CET, Euronews Travel brings you a story from somewhere different around the world. Download the Euronews app to get an alert for this and other breaking news. It's available on Apple and Android devices.

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