St. Patrick’s Day in China represents the union between the Chinese and the Irish people

With the consent of Chinese authorities, the Irish embassy in Beijing hosts several St. Patrick’s Day events. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai also take part in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. 

Different places in China recognize St. Patrick’s Day in unique ways. Four key events display Chinese appreciation for the Irish holiday.

  1. 1 Greening of Famous Chinese Infrastructure

    The Great Wall of China (left) and the Canton Tower (right) lit up green on St. Patrick's DayDifferent cities in China hold important infrastructure. 

    On St. Patrick's Day, government officials drape these structures in green lights. The green hue from these buildings is visible from miles away. 

    A few examples are the Great Wall of China in Beijing, the Canton Tower in Guangzhou and the Nanjing Eye Pedestrian Bridge.

    The Nanjing Eye Pedestrian Bridge also turns green on St. Patrick's Day

  2. 2 St. Patrick’s Day Irish Ball

    Shanghai and Beijing host annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Balls

    While the ball is a black-tie event, some years may have themed balls. For example, the 2018 Irish Ball in Beijing had a “Titanic” theme.

    A 2018 flyer for Beijing's "Titanic" themed St. Patricks Day Ball

  3. 3 Parades

    St. Patrick’s Day parades occur in almost every major Chinese city. 

    Chinese and Irish residents wear green and enjoy Irish food, music and dancing. Parades are usually held near important Chinese monuments, like the Canton tower in Guangzhou.

  4. 4 Irish Pubs

    While the Irish do not rank in China’s top 10 expat populations, many Chinese cities have at least one Irish pub. 

    On St. Patrick’s Day, these pubs are livelier than ever. 

    Drinks like green beer, Jameson whiskey and Irish car bombs are especially popular during the holiday.

    The Shamrock Irish Pub in Beijing

    This St. Patrick’s Day, Chinese and Irish residents can once again participate in city-wide festivities. 

    As Covid-19 restrictions loosen, St. Patrick’s day balls, parades and pubs are set to return. 


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Jennelle Ohene-Agyei
Jennelle Ohene-Agyei is a Political Science and Chinese studies major at Macaulay Honors College. She hopes to share her interest in Chinese culture with larger audiences.
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