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Four ways to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Sweden

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Four ways to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Sweden
Stockholm's St Patrick's Day parade in 2013. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/SCANPIX
06:59 CET+01:00
Happy St Patrick's Day, the day when the whole world turns Irish. Here's how to get in the spirit in Sweden, alongside our regular interactive events calendar.

1. Go to a parade

The parade is an essential part of St Patrick's Day and the biggest one in Sweden is the Swedish Irish Society's annual march through Stockholm. Adapting to Sweden where the day is not (yet?) a holiday, this year it will take place on Saturday, March 19th. Participants will gather at the Humlegården park at 2pm and walk together to the Old Town, where Irish bands Loughy & the Brian O'Connor trio and the Irish Dance project will perform.

Read more about the event on the Swedish Irish Society's website.


The St Patrick's Day parade in Stockholm. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/SCANPIX

2. Sample some whisky

Or whiskey, as our Irish friends would spell it. The Irish make some of the best in the world and it is often enjoyed even by nervous first-timers because of its comparatively mild and rounded taste, which comes from being distilled three times rather than two. While you could of course visit your local Systembolaget and throw your own event at home, we recommend that you book a whisky tasting session with a real connoisseur.

Or, despite St Patrick's Day being an Irish holiday, why not sample some of Sweden's own unique produce? Spirit of Hven is one of the world's smallest commercial pot still distilleries and is situated on the Ven island right in the middle of the Öresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. And Sweden's first whisky, Mackmyra, organizes tasting sessions at its 'whisky village' theme park just outside Gävle on the east coast.


Have you ever tried Irish whisky? Photo: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

3. Enjoy some good craic in the pub

Ireland is home to some of Europe's best pubs, but Sweden's not too shabby either (although admittedly rather more expensive). Meet up with your best Irish friends tonight at for example 'Southside' in Stockholm – a friendly Irish tavern, 'The Dubliner' – a chain of bars with hubs in Gothenburg, Stockholm, Halmstad and Strömstad – or Paddy's in Malmö for a pint of Guinness or something alcohol free if you want to avoid a hangover at work.

Here are our favourite picks:

Stockholm: Southside, Hornsgatan 104, Zinkensdamm 

Various locations: The Dubliner, Järntorget 7, Göteborg; Östrahamngatan 50B, Göteborg; Storgatan 52, Halmstad; Holländargatan 1, Stockholm; Strandpromenaden 1, Strömstad

Malmö: Paddy's, Kalendegatan 7, Malmö


US President Barack Obama enjoying a pint at a pub (not in Sweden, though). Photo: AP

4. Listen to music

Anyone for an Irish jig? Sorry, we'll try to steer clear of the heavyhanded stereotypes. How about just some really great music? Ireland is a small country with very strong claims to some of the world's most popular bands and artists in history – The Dubliners, Westlife, Sinead O'Connor or (half of) U2, anyone? – not to mention a rich heritage of folk songs.

You'll probably find there's a gig going on at any Irish pub of your choice this St Patrick's Day. If not, here's our pick of just a few of the concerts being put on this Thursday.

Stockholm: The Liffey, Stora Nygatan 40/42. Live music from 2pm-late by Clare Cunningham, Brian O'Connor and The Outciders. 

Malmö: Fagans, Per Weijersgatan 4. Live music by Slainté with Billy Jones, doors open at 1pm.

Karlstad: The Leprechaun, Östra Torggatan 4. Live music by Greenfreaks and the Paddy Power Band, open from 4pm-1am.

Not feeling the luck of the Irish? Check out our regular interactive calendar below for everything else happening in Sweden this week.

 

 

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