St. Patrick's Day: What is it and where can you celebrate it?

Half a liter of Guinness, Riverdance and party-goers dressed in green: 75 million Irish people worldwide are celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend. What does this holiday mean and where can you celebrate it in the Netherlands?


Half a liter of Guinness, Riverdance and party-goers dressed in green: 75 million Irish people worldwide are celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend. What does this holiday mean and where can you celebrate it in the Netherlands?

St. Patrick's Day is the national holiday of Ireland. On this day the Irish celebrate the life of St. Patricius, the patron saint of the country. This missionary converted the Irish to Christianity in the fifth century and introduced the four-leaf clover as a national symbol.

During the holiday, Irishmen put on green clothing and come together to make music, eat lamb stew and drink Guinness, the typical dark beer. Parades are held in Irish cities and fireworks are lit.

Because many Irish people migrated to other parts of the world in the nineteenth century, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world today by around 75 million people. According to the financial website WalletHub, about thirteen million pints are drunk on that day.

St. Patrick's Day is also celebrated in hundreds of bars and pubs in the Netherlands. This is an overview of some special celebrations.

Grote Markt - The Hague

A free festival is given on the Grote Markt in The Hague. Twelve thousand visitors came last year, making the festival the largest St. Patrick's Day celebration on the European mainland. There is a large music stage, where more than ten Irish bands, dance groups and other artists, such as the Celtic folk rock band Rapalje, perform until midnight. The bartenders tap half and full liters of dark beer and you can taste whiskey at restaurant De Blauwe Kamer.

  • Where: Grote Markt, The Hague
  • When: March 17 from 12:00
  • Price: free
  • More information

O'Shea's Irish Pub - Eindhoven

In Eindhoven they start St. Patrick's Day a day in advance. Saturday is all about sports and games. At Gealic Football Club Eindhoven Shamrocks you can get acquainted with the Irish sports that are unknown to most Dutch people such as hurling and camogie and participate in a tournament. There is a celebration on Sunday. Then O'Shea's Irish Pub serves a special festive menu and you can dance to live music all afternoon and evening.

  • Where: GFC Eindhoven Shamrocks (Saturday) and O'Shea's Irish Pub (Sunday), Eindhoven
  • When: March 16 and 17
  • Price: free entrance
  • More information

St. Patrick's Festival - Amsterdam

During the St. Patrick's Festival in Amsterdam there is not only a party, but there is also attention for cultural and political developments in Ireland. In addition to live music and food, Irish dance workshops are therefore also held and journalist Joris Luyendijk is interviewed about the approaching Brexit. Some activities are free and for others an admission fee applies.

  • Where: Splendor, Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 116, Amsterdam
  • When: 15 to 17 March
  • Price: various prices
  • More information

O'Malley's Irish Pub - Groningen

O'Malley's is a spacious Irish pub in the center of Groningen. The doors and beer taps will open at noon. Folk music is played throughout the afternoon. In the evening the fiddles (violins) are exchanged for guitars and drums: three Irish bands perform for one hour each. O'Malley's serves lamb stew, green drinks and green snacks for the party goers.

  • Where: O'Malley's Irish Pub, Oosterstraat 67, Groningen
  • When: March 17 from 12:00
  • Price: free entrance
  • More information

Paddy O'Ryan - Leeuwarden

Paddy's has three different types of Guinness on tap and many more beers from Ireland and Belgium. For the occasion you can also order a green beer. Rock and roll singer Martijn Kentie performs and fans of Irish rugby can follow the final of Six Nations Rugby live.

  • Where: Paddy O'Ryan, Tweebaksmarkt 49, Leeuwarden
  • When: March 17 from 12:00
  • Price: free entrance
  • More information

John Mullins Irish Pub - Maastricht

In Maastricht the death day of St. Patricius is extended to a St. Patrick's Weekend. The rugby final is watched on Saturday and beer flows and Irish music is played on Sunday. A jam session is also taking place. Visitors can bring their own instruments or sing along if they want.

  • Where: John Mullins Irish Pub, Wijckerbrugstraat 50, Maastricht
  • When: March 16 and 17
  • Price: free
  • More information

The above overview has been compiled by the editors of NU.nl. Is a tip missing? Complete the overview by leaving a comment.

ref: nunl