Saint Patrick’s Day in Japan

March 20th, 2013By Category: Arts & Entertainment, Culture, Events, Travel

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated all over the globe by those who are Irish but also by many who are not. Many people do not know this but St. Patrick was not in fact Irish; he travelled through Ireland around 490AD, bringing Christianity with him and as legend would have it, spending quite a bit of time driving away snakes that were ‘plaguing’ Ireland at the time. Little did he know that hundreds of years later, there would be a special day celebrated in his name. Nowadays, St. Patrick is synonymous with green, gold, shamrocks, guinness funny hats and of course the annual parade.

Growing up in Dublin, it was always a holiday that I anticipated greatly; the parade was such an exciting event and I have always wanted to take part. I play the tin whistle, I have been Irish dancing my whole life and I speak Irish – but yet I never got to join in, no matter how hard I tried. Until now that is. Surprisingly my first time participating in the St, Patrick’s Day parade has been on the other side of the world in Tokyo, Japan.

This year, on March 17th 2013, my Irish dancing class, some very nice helpers and I got to take part in the parade again. The photos below highlight the events of the day:

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The Irish and the Japanese flag side by side | The Irish ambassador to Japan.

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US Army band

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Japanese marching band.


The beautiful colours of Ireland.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2013 was the best one yet, it was such a beautiful, fun and exhilarating day. I felt great pride as an Irish person sharing my culture and history with others. Thousands came out in support of the parade; for such a small country we have certainly made an impact on the world, even if it is to show others how to have a good time.

Author of this article

Ciara Lynch

Ciara Lynch is a teacher, writer and enthusiast of all things Japanese. Readers can find more of her experiences about living abroad in a country so very different to her own. Travels, ramblings, photography and expat advice make up a lot of this blog:

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