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List Words : Graihagh Jackson | 17 March

Top 5 alternative places to celebrate St Patrick's Day

Dressed in emerald-green outfits and clutching pints of Guinness, Graihagh Jackson and the rest of the Wanderlust team explore some of the more unusual places to celebrate Ireland's patron saint

1. Moscow, Russia

The Russian capital's parade is becoming increasingly sophisticated with re-enactments of Celtic battles, platoons of Irish jiggers and marching bands. Upon occasion, a giant green snake has even slithered through the streets, manipulated by Muscovite puppeteers.

The crowning glory of Russia's Irish Week, the parade took place on the 15 March this year but the rest of the festivities, which include an Irish film festival, continue until March 23.

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2. Bologna, Italy

Over 25,000 emerald-clad revellers flock to the the historic city of Bologna every year to watch Irish folk bands, feast on soda bread and Irish stew, and drink Guinness. Bologna is renown for its nightlife and the jingles and jives continue until a tiring 4am on St Patrick's day itself. Irish pub, the Celtic Druid, is the place to find a pint of the black stuff.

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3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Every year, leprechauns, fairies and Irish dancers parade in time to tin whistles and bagpipes on the streets of Arroya and Suipacha in the heart of the city.  

500,000 Irish descendants live in Buenos Aires so Guinness-laden after-parties are never in short supply. Downtown in Reconquista, the celebrations stretch over ten blocks and continue until the wee hours.

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4. Auckland, New Zealand

Just shy of a week-long, Aukland's celebrations feature a colourful fair filled with food stalls, Gaelic football and performances from Irish musicians. The festivities are crowned with an elaborate parade and an Emerald Ball: dress code, 'black/green tie'.

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5. Tokyo, Japan

The Japanese are fond of all things Irish, including over-priced pints of Guinness. A celebratory Paddy's parade takes place in Omotesando where 'St Patrick' himself leads a marching band of pipers.

The streets are adorned with Irish flags, Celtic art and Gaelic music and everyone and everything, from the Tokyo Tower to the city's dogs, are dressed head to toe in emerald. There are few places that go this green for St Paddy's Day.

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And one for luck...

Not such an alternative choice, but if you want to live it up in a city where people are known for going all-out on St Patrick's, Chicago is definitely the place to be. A mammoth parade and an Irish beauty pageant are just two of the numerous events taking place. Even the river is dyed emerald green especially for the patron saint.

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