Known as the "Emerald Isle of the Caribbean," Montserrat has the distinction of being the only nation outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.
|Montserrat has the distinction of being the only nation outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.|
Showcasing a unique mix of Irish and African heritage, the destination comes alive with week-long events that will take place around March 17 at various locations throughout the island.
Residents and visitors alike have the chance to participate in feasts, parades, concerts, cultural exhibitions and outdoor theater productions to commemorate the planned slave uprising that occurred on the island during St. Patrick’s Day in 1768.
Activities include national exhibitions showcasing history, art and literature, a kite festival, Junior Calypso Monarch Competition, Freedom Walk and Run, Heritage Day & Feast and annual St. Patrick’s Day church service and dinner.
Of all the Caribbean islands, Montserrat is the only one to offer a noticeable Irish heritage. The island was the home for indentured Irish Catholic servants in the British West Indies, and the influence of their culture is still felt today. There is even a village named St. Patrick’s, which is located in the exclusion zone.
Visitors also receive a green shamrock stamp in their passport upon arrival. Goat water, the national dish made of kid or mutton and spiced with cloves and rum, hails from the original Emerald Isle. The Irish legacy is present in the folklore, surnames and even the local speech, which is laced with Irish brogue.