Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day In Germany: #1 Best Guide

St. Patricks Day in Germany

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Germany put a continental twist on the Irish holiday that may surprise you! Even though wearing the signature “green” suits may not be a centuries-old tradition here like in Ireland, the Germans sure know how to throw a great party in honor of dear St. Paddy.

As someone who’s happily joined the party amongst new German friends for years now, let me give you the inside scoop on how they honor Ireland’s favorite patron saint on this side of the Rhine. Oh, and I’ll also share with you some useful German words to help you with the feast. Let’s begin!

What Is St. Patrick’s Day?

At its heart, St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the life of the missionary who brought Christianity to the Irish islands in the 5th century—none other than the emerald island’s patron saint, Saint Patrick.

While the religious significance has evolved into a broader celebration of Irish culture through the centuries, it’s still customary for revelers across the globe to raise a pint on March 17th, the date of St. Patrick’s annual death anniversary so many generations ago.

But why is it that you can see four-leaf clovers everywhere during this time of the year? It’s because people often associate them with good luck since St. Patrick used a three-leaf clover, called a shamrock, in his teachings. While shamrocks can sometimes have four leaves, finding a four-leaf clover is seen as lucky!

But what about those other famous symbols, such as leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold?

The story of the mythical figures known as leprechauns is even older than the holiday itself! In fact, they were a part of old Irish fables and were always heavily associated with Irish culture. So, while they are not an original part of the holiday, you’ll see folks dressed as leprechauns on parades, wearing big green hats and suits!

st. Patrick's day

Why Is St. Patrick’s Day Celebrated In Germany?

With over 11,000 Irish citizens calling Germany home, Eire’s presence has woven itself into the cultural tapestry here over generations of Irish immigration. Not to mention the popularity of Irish pubs in most major German cities attracting expats and locals alike!

While the religious aspects take a backseat globally, Ireland still very much infuses Saint Patrick’s Day events abroad through celebrations of traditional music, Irish dancing, food, and drink. And the Germans are always game for integrating cultural influences from immigrant communities into their festivals and holiday fun!

Plus, you need to think about the fact that Germany and Ireland have lots of traditional and historical connections! Just look at St. Kilian, the Irish monk who spread Christianity in Northern Bavaria, or the “Messiah” oratorio by Georg Friedrich Händel, first performed on Dublin’s Fishamble Street. It’s amazing to see how these two countries have influenced each other’s cultures throughout history!

Where To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In Germany?

Munich and Berlin, two of Germany’s largest cities, are the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Both cities hold a parade, along with plenty of Irish music, dancing, bagpipes, and drummers. Even though it’s the capital city, Berlin’s celebrations are not as festive as in Munich, so that would be the better option!

In Munich, thousands of people gather dressed in green to take part in the parade. Monuments around the city, such as the Olympic Tower, are lit up in green lights. After the parade, visitors can attend live music events. The parade always takes place on a Sunday before the official date!

In Berlin, the city also comes alive with live music and green costumes as people of all backgrounds gather to celebrate Irish culture. The party continues with more music, dancing, and drinks while landmarks like the Funkturm light up green.

st. Patrick's day

Food And Drinks During St. Patrick’s Day In Germany

To celebrate Ireland’s biggest party abroad, keep an eye out for traditional Irish recipes to get a tasty German twist!

Expect hearty mains like Krauteintopf – tender brisket and veggies stewed with cabbage and potatoes. Or Hackfleisch und Kartoffelauflauf, a clever shepherd’s pie casserole hybrid baked with ground beef and buttery mashed spuds.

Then finish off your German-Irish food tour by toasting the holiday with a fluffy green-tinged Baumkuchen layer cake soaked in Irish cream liqueur. Now that’s one lucky dessert!

On St. Patrick’s Day, the love for green extends to the drinks, too! Instead of the usual Guinness beer, Germans like to enjoy green beer, where lager is mixed with a green syrup. Alongside classic St. Patrick’s Day snacks like pretzels, a glass of green beer adds some extra fun to their celebration.

German Vocabulary For St. Patrick’s Day

Here are some super easy German words to get you started on the holiday:

BeerDas Bier
HolidayDer Feiertag
LuckDas Glück
Pot of goldTopf voll Gold
LeprechaunDer Kobold
St. Patrick’s Day Der Gedenktag des heiligen Patrick

Now, let’s learn some phrases for when you’re partying in an Irish pub in Germany:

One Guinness beer, please!Ein Guinness Bier, bitte!
Which pub should we go to?In welche Kneipe sollen wir gehen?
Everyone should be wearing green clothes!Jeder sollte grüne Kleidung tragen!
Have you found the four-leaf clover yet?Hast du das vierblättrige Kleeblatt schon gefunden?
Why is the Leprechaun a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day?Warum ist der Kobold das Symbol des St. Patrick’s Day?

Learn German With Ling

Between pint-fueled singsongs, step dancing, and feasting on Ireland-meets-Germany flavors, I hope I’ve convinced you to join the craic celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the German way!

If your appetite for experiences abroad extends beyond this joyous one-day event, may I also suggest downloading the Ling language learning app? Its fun, digestible audio lessons will have you speaking conversational German in no time – perfect for better immersing yourself in the culture beyond just St. Paddy’s Day! You can find it on Google Play or the App Store.

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