Surely one of the best things about living abroad is stealing and cherry picking your new host country’s national holidays, not to mention those of your new colleges and co-workers. Chuseok? Yes please? Children’s Day? Sure, why not? Canada Day? Don’t mind if I do. Thanksgiving? Who doesn’t love giving thanks? So St Patrick’s Day is the perfect chance for us Irish to give back. Never are we more adamant about spreading Irish joy than La Fhéile Pádraig and it’s fair to say everyone wants to get on the Paddy’s Day bandwagon. Happily you don’t have to sacrifice our favourite opportunity to dress in green and booze up just because you are living in Asia – if anything, it is even better celebrating it overseas!
The Irish Association of Korea has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day annually since 2001 with parades and celebrations (featuring “Korean U2”) in Itaewon, Daehangno and Cheonggyecheon. This year is their 16th event and they’re expecting thousands of spectators again.
And it is not just the Koreans who want in – your options are endless, from céilí in Beijing, parades in Kuala Lumpur, trad Irish bands in Bangkok to free-pour Guinness in Shanghai, fear not, you will be drinking copious amounts of warm green beer and mediocre Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day, so get your drinking boots on! For more information check local listings and of course don’t forget to drink responsibly!
Michelle has taught in Asia for a number of years and has experience of spending St.Patrick’s Day in South Korea, Malaysia and other locations across Asia and Europe. She also has articles on other festivals and what to expect when you first make the move to start teaching in Asia. Check out her article on some quirky aspects to Korean culture at the following link: http://www.teachersforasia.com/top-5-korean-quirks/.