Should you be planning a honeymoon to Boston in March, America’s most Irish city is gearing up for its annual festivities in honor of Ireland’s patron saint. Dubbed “America’s Irish Capital,” Boston is considered – at least by the Irish – as Ireland’s home away from home.
With more than 44 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry, St. Patrick’s Day is the greatest ethnic celebration in the country – and with Americans abroad - with hundreds of cities hosting parades and parties.
Boston and Cambridge combined boast nearly 100 pubs, many modeled after pubs in Ireland. A steady influx of new Irish has revitalized the culture with typical restaurants, theater, music and dance, offering high quality cuisine and traditional Irish music several nights a week.
The famous saint has been honored since ancient times. According to lore, St. Patrick was abducted, in the fourth century, from his home in Wales and enslaved in Ireland for six years. He later escaped to France, where he pursued his clerical studies and dreamed that the people of Ireland were calling him back. The revered saint eventually returned to the Emerald Isle and dedicated himself to founding hundreds of churches and schools in an effort to convert the Irish to Catholicism. According to local legend, he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity to the High King of Ireland.
To this day, the shamrock is the symbol of Ireland, worn throughout the world to celebrate the Irish heritage. Another legend claims that St. Patrick was responsible for driving all of the snakes off of the island.
Irish eyes will be smiling throughout “Beantown” as the city as it launches itself into a frenzy of celebration and whether you chose to wear green or not it might be fun to indulge in a bit of the Blarney.
The epitome of Irish spectacles in the Bay State is the lively three-hour St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston. This year, the 109th annual parade is set to step off at 1 p.m. March 14, in this distinctly Irish neighborhood jutting into Boston Harbor. Dozens of marching and pipe bands from Ireland and the US, including local favorites like Boston Police Gaelic Column, composed of Boston police officers will be featured.
Coinciding this year, will be Boston's Winter Restaurant Week, featuring special 3-course prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner at participating restaurants.