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Do Russians Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

13. March 2012 by Dasha 0 Comments

Though one might think Russian men and women have no reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the truth is that many Russians love this fun and festive holiday.

“The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Moscow and elsewhere is a sign of the friendship between Ireland and Russia,” said Philip McDonagh, the Ambassador of Ireland, Moscow. “From Kamchatka to Connemara, from Vladivostok to Vancouver, our region has many cultural roots in common.”

Russians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day much like revelers in any other country. They drink, they sing, they dance. They dress in green and attend parties and parades. In fact, so many Russians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day that Moscow holds an annual parade on New Arbat each year. Though authorities canceled the celebration last year, citing traffic concerns, Russians partied on the streets anyway, and the parade is set to make a comeback this Saturday. Around 40,000 Russians attend the beloved street festival each year.

“Regardless of any bans they will celebrate at the same place and in the same way – with a fun carnival on the Arbat,” a Moscow parade organizer said on the website saint-patrick.ru.

In addition to the parade, a number of Irish musicians will fly into Moscow to perform on St. Patrick’s Day, and pubs and restaurants throughout the city will hold special events in honor of the Irish holiday. Irish film festivals and concerts are also popular.

Ukraine also holds a number of parades, carnivals, and celebrations, though some estimate that only 30 people out of Ukraine’s 46 million are actually Irish. Nevertheless, the events draw many tourist and expatriates who welcome the chance to drink green beer and party with Ukrainian men and women.

Sources: The Moscow News, Kyiv Post