From the Emerald Isle to London and the US, these are the best places to celebrate St Patrick's Day, and the ideal events at which to grab a pint of Guinness and raise a toast to Eire, plus see lots of things that have been turned green because: Ireland.
1. Check out the Dublin parade
Dublin is undoubtedly one of the best places to head for St Patrick's Day celebrations, although most cities in Ireland put on raucous celebrations on 17 March. Kick off with the main parade, featuring bands, fancy dress, performers and giant puppets, then head over to the Temple Bar area where you'll be spoilt for choice in terms of drink deals, music, events and Guinness hats. If you get the chance, visit the Guinness brewery close by for a spot of tasting.
2. Dance at the Cutty Sark Ceili, London
Although not technically taking place on 17 March, this St Patrick's celebration ceili held in the hull of the Cutty Sark is perfect for anyone looking for something a little different to do at the weekend. The 19 March event comes complete with a live band, free shot of whiskey with every ticket and the opportunity to do your best Michael Flatly impression and bust a few Irish moves. For details, see www.rmg.co.uk.
3. Catch the Dropkick Murphys in Boston
Given its proud Irish heritage, it's no surprise Boston is home to some of the best – and loudest – St Patrick's Day celebrations around the world. The celebrations kick off with a parade in South Boston, after which hoards trail over to watch Irish-inspired punk outfit Dropkick Murphys play their annual St Patrick's concert at The House of Blues. Naturally, every Irish pub and bar for miles also offers up deals, music and events to tempt in the patriotic crowds.
4. Get arty at Drink, Shop & Do, London
If you're looking for something a little more creative than a night in the pub, King's Cross café-come-shop-come art space Drink, Shop & Do has lined up a leprechaun papier maché workshop. The event is free from 7pm, when you buy a drink and, depending on how creative you are, you may even end up with a disturbing ornament to take home and keep forever. Visit: www.drinkshopdo.com.
5. Stop off at Belfast carnival
The parade in Belfast draws crowds every year as it passes through the city after leaving from the city hall, jam-packed with local musicians, performers and dancers, and culminating in a free concert at the end. There will also be street markets in the city, as well as festivities bursting from the doors of the majority of drinking establishments.
6. See some green buildings in London
No, St Patrick's Day isn't all about drinking. Sometimes it's about looking at things that have been turned green, although arguably there's nothing to stop you enjoying a Guinness while checking out green things. To mark this year's celebrations, landmarks in London, including the London Eye and Nelson's Column will be lit up with an emerald glow – plus you'll also catch green buildings in Manchester (the Trafford Centre) and Glasgow (Clyde Auditorium).
7. See the green river in Chicago
Usually, a river spewing luminous green water is a cause for concern, but fear not water worriers, in this case it's just a strange way of celebrating all things Irish. Chicago has been chucking dye into the river since 1961, when the manager of a plumber's union realised the dye used by has workers turned things 'Irish green'. It's harmless for the water and has become a long-standing tradition. Plus, when you get bored of looking at green water, there's a parade around the corner too.
8. Do a pub crawl in Shoreditch
While most pubs in London will be laying on a few extra pints of Guinness and hanging some green drapes, some do it better than others. The Shoreditch Pub Crawl lays on Guinness and drinks at several different venues and the obligatory 17 March accessories. Just don't insist on taking the hat home. See www.londonpartypubcrawl.com.
9. Watch the New York parade
New York ruddy loves a parade – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Tuesday. They've got a parade for everything. Luckily though, their St Patrick's Day offering is pretty spectacular, with floats, bands, performers and people carrying various flags. Plus, the spectators love to get into the spirit of the day, so don't be surprised if you're standing next to 100 children from a local school dressed as leprechauns or a man wearing a body stocking for no discernible reason whatsoever.
10. Drink a festive cocktail at Mr Fogg's Tavern
Grab a St Patrick's Day-themed whiskey cocktail and sample some Irish grub while the night's festivities kick off in London's Mayfair. Hosted by Seamus Fogg and supported by his Irish band, there's set to be dancing, drinking and celebrations a plenty. Visit: www.mr-foggs.com.