How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around the Globe

How to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Around the Globe

Copious amounts of green clothing, beer, leprechauns, dyed green food, overcrowded pubs and Irish bars can only mean one thing, St. Patrick’s Day is in the air and although this holiday feast originated in Ireland to celebrate the Patron Saint, St. Patrick,  it is now celebrated throughout the world by the Irish and non-Irish alike, leading to the widely heard phrase, “Everybody wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

From Ireland, Italy, Norway, Germany, South Korea and Japan to Canada and the United States, people typically adorn themselves in at least one green clothing item and take part in this worldwide celebration each year on or around March 17th.

Join Globe Trekker Ian Wright as he attempts a gruelling hike up Croagh Patrick, where Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick,spent 40 days of lent on this mountain, fighting demons and banishing serpents from the land.   This vigil made the 2513-foot quartz peak a sacred pilgrimage site for Catholics.  Full episode:

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland: photo credit: Amy Swearingen

St. Patrick’s Day in NYC: photo credit: Damien Derouene

St. Patrick’s Day B Boy performance Seoul, South Korea: Photo Credit: Anton Petrov


Globe Trekker Ireland

Carnival Season Around the World

Carnival season 2013 is upon us and whether you are in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, or South America, there is no shortage of celebrations happening all around the world. The most well known festivals are celebrated in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Sydney, Australia, Venice, Italy and Trinidad and Tobago.

Mardi Gras is centered mainly around the French Quarter of New Orleans for approximately two weeks and commences on Fat Tuesday, which falls on February 12th this year. However, the multiple parades take place Uptown and in mid-city, due to the narrow streets in the French Quarter. From the elaborately decorated floats, wild costumes, lively music, famous King Cakes, to the lengths people will go to in order to obtain a plethora of colorful, signatory beads, there is never a dull moment or a shortage of purple, green and gold.

Globe Trekker host, Justine Shapiro took part in the Mardi Gras festivities when she was invited to join one of the 27 floats of the Krewe of Orpheus. In true Mardi Gras fashion, Justine wore a jester costume and adorned herself with multiple beads.

Globe Trekker New Orleans

Rio De Janeiro, fittingly known as the carnival capital of the world, is no stranger to celebrations. Rio’s Carnival dates coincide with Mardi Gras, beginning on Saturday February 9th and ending on February 12th this year. During Carnival, the various samba schools, each representing their specific neighborhood, are the main draw. Samba dancers often rehearse months before Carnival and are decked out in extravagant handmade costumes with lavish headpieces. Globe Trekker Host, Ian Wright dives head first into samba, learning from the school, Caprichosos de Pilares and ultimately taking part in the parade.

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Rio - 2

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, takes places from February 8th through March 3rd this year and is Sydney, Australia’s biggest event of the year. Justine Shapiro takes viewers on a firsthand experience of this liberating celebration of expression and equal rights. Anything goes in this parade, from the Scantily clad costumes to dancing in the streets, drawing a crowd of over a million people to be free to be themselves. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Sydney Mardi Gras and is themed quite appropriately as, “The Generations of Love.”

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The two most celebrated days of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago fall on February 11th and 12th this year, right before Ash Wednesday and has been called, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Justine Shapiro lets viewers inside the Caribbean’s biggest carnival as she joins in the celebration.

Music is a highlight for this carnival, with various competitions, including the International Soca Monarch competition and the National Panorama competition that innovatively incorporates the use of steel pans, garbage can lids, pots and pans to create sounds, rhythms and melodies. Bikinis with headpieces adorned in feathers are often seen during Carnival among a multitude of various character costumes, from Minstrels, Jab Jab’s, Midnight Robber’s to Dragons and Bats.

Globe Trekker Eastern Caribbean

Globe Trekker Eastern Caribbean

Justine travels to The Venice Carnival, which takes place in St. Mark’s Square and is centered around various types of eclectic looking masks, allowing people to maintain a bit of anonymity and play a different character. Like the other carnivals, Venice also commences on February 12th this year, marking the start of Lent. The mask contests and the water show on the Venice canals are two highlights of the Carnival and what better excuse to travel to this gorgeous city than to attend one of the biggest celebrations of the year?

Globe Trekker: Great Festivals 3

This is undoubtedly an exhilarating time of year to dress up, celebrate cultural milestones and bask in the traditions that were established decades ago. Carnivals are plentiful around the world and although the five mentioned here are some of the most popular ones, they are definitely not the only ones.

For more information on these Carnivals, you can view them on the DVD links posted below, available at:

DVD: Great Festivals of the World

DVD: Great Festivals 2

In Production: Globe Trekker Round The World Series

Filming Starts this Month for our Globe Trekker Round The World Special Edition with all your Favourite Presenters!

20th Poster

The Globe Trekker Round the World Series is an 8-part mini-series dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the ground breaking and award-winning series.

To mark the momentous occasion our popular hosts Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro and Megan McCormack re-join the Globe Trekker team, each taking on a leg of a round the world marathon visiting some of the best sites the world has to offer.

Justine shapiroEpisode 1: Across America: Route 66 and Beyond
Justine Shapiro kicks off the journey with a road trip west across the United States, following in the footsteps of the American Dream. Starting in Washington DC she follows the Blue Ridge Parkway to Nashville and Memphis, birth places of American country and soul. After a brief countryside respite in Arkansas, Justine hits legendary Route 66 from Oklahoma to Arizona, where she visits the world’s best preserved Meteor Crater.

Brianna BarnesEpisode 2: Pan- Americana: Conquistadors, Aztecs and Incas
Brianna Barnes’ adventure takes her south to the lands of ancient empires. In Mexico she explores the myths and treasures that once drew the Conquistadors to a country rich in natural resources.
Following their trail her first stop is colonial Chihuahua, where Pancho Villa started the Mexican Revolution. In Zacatecas she visits one of Mexico’s many Silver Mines and then travels along the colonial Silver Road to Mexico City from where the Aztecs once ruled their bloodthirsty empire.

Brianna BarnesEpisode 3: Pan Americana: Conquistadors, Incas, & Inquisition
Peru, home of the legendary Incas, is the next stop on Brianna’s journey south that begins in Cajamarca, where thousands of Inca soldiers were slaughtered by Pizarro’s conquistadors.
After visiting one of the world’s largest gold mines Brianna makes her way to Lima, the “City of Kings” once home to the Spanish Inquisition in South America. In Cusco she learns about the golden Inca Empire before ending her journey on the volcano El Misti, where incredibly well preserved ice mummies tell the story of the country’s illustrious past.

Brianna BarnesEpisode 4: Pacific Journeys: Tahiti to Pitcairn
Zay Harding begins his Pacific journey in Santiago de Chile, gateway to the culturally unique Easter Island. From here he heads to Tahiti, the Polynesian paradise that enticed Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, Captain Cook and Captain Bligh and his Bounty Mutineers to stay longer than planned.
Zay embarks on an ocean voyage along the waters charted by these famous explorers, including a perilous crossing to Pitcairn Island, which the descendents of the Bounty Mutineers call home today.

Brianna BarnesEpisode 5: Pacific Journeys:Tonga to New Caledonia
Zay’s Island-hopping escapades take him now to the independent Kingdom of Tonga, and then on to multi-cultural Fiji, where cannibals, sugar cane and Indian temples make for an exciting stay. In Norfolk Island we learn about its convict past while the hills of New Caledonia make a perfect setting for an island trek to the country’s native inhabitants.  Zay end his journey in Noumea, where the Kanak’s people’s culture is celebrated at the Tibijao Cultural Centre, an architectural marvel that combines ancient knowledge with modern techniques.

Megan McCormickEpisode 6: Silk Road: Xi’an to Kashgar
In China Megan McCormick follows the legendary trade route along which caravans of treasures once found their way into Europe. Starting at the silk capital of Xi’an she passes Jiayugan and the Jade Gate, once frontier towns on the edge to the uncivilized western world. Passing through the Flaming Mountains she stops to sample the wines and grapes of Turpan, one of the lowest and hottest places on earth. After visiting a 1000 Buddha cave in Kuqa she ends her journey at the famous Kashgar Market where wares from east and west are still traded today.

Holly MorrisEpisode 7: Silk Road: Kashgar to Istanbul
Holly Morris takes over the journey in Central Asia, where silk was traded for “flying horses” from the fertile Ferghana Valley. Crossing the Jiptik Pass to Osh she then explores the ancient Kingdom of Samarkand and Bukhara before crossing the stony desert of Turkmenistan to the lost city of Merv. Then it’s on the modern capital of Baku in oil-rich Azerbaijan, her last stop before reaching the caravanserais of Turkey and finally the rich bazaars of Istanbul.

Ian WrightEpisode 6: East to West: Istanbul to Vienna
Ian Wright takes up the journey in Istanbul from where he follows historic trails through the heart of Europe and the Balkans, where once the Ottomans pushed into Europe. Crossing the Black Sea into Bulgaria he explores vampire myths before continuing to Serbia, where the Nis Skull Tower stands as a reminder of Ottoman raids and rule.   After a ride on the Šargan Eight Narrow Gauge Railway it’s on to the Croatian coast and a road trip to Dubrovnik, Split and Rijeka. After a quick dip in the world’s largest thermal lake in Hungary his journey ends in Vienna, old world capital of wide avenues and wedding cake mansions that withstood Ottoman attack and that stands in full splendor until this day.