Wildest St Patrick’s Day raves – from ‘kiss bandit’ whip-cracking to mass brawls

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  • St Patrick’s Day is perhaps one of the world’s most loved festivals and is marked by parades of revellers dressed in green all across the globe.

    Every year on March 17 people across the world mark the death of Ireland’s patron saint in the fifth century and would traditionally see religious families head to Church to remember the “Apostle of Ireland” who, legend has it, banished all snakes from the island by chasing them into the sea.

    But the holiday has taken on a new meaning internationally and is now more commonly associated with pints, shamrocks and occasionally, some pretty questionable antics.

    Here are some of the craziest moments from the holiday over the years, from the St Patrick’s Day “kiss bandit” to mass brawls and whip-cracking.

    1. The (Irish) jig is up

      Luck ran out for this leprechaun who was "arrested" during Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade in 2017.

      Thankfully for the little man, cops didn’t really take him into custody and we can only assume he was set free after the stint.

      Dublin is home to one of the world’s most famous St Paddy’s Day celebrations, but the largest parade can actually be found across the pond in New York.

      (Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)1 of 9

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    2. Better clover up

      March is usually pretty cold in Ireland, but that doesn’t stop some of the more hardcore partygoers from getting their kit off to celebrate the day.

      Armed with beer jackets and liquid courage, revellers are eager to get their shamrocks out for all the world to see.


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    3. It’s always a riot

      Firefighters and rioters came to blows in London in Ontario, Canada, after St Patrick’s Day celebrations got out of hand in 2012.

      Police were called to the scene after a number of college parties spilled out onto the streets and started behaving aggressively, throwing bottles at cops and setting a TV truck alight, piling propane and more TVs onto the blaze to keep it alive.

      Eleven people were arrested.

      (Image: BBC)3 of 9

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    1. Ten days of whip-roaring fun

      In Montserrat, St Patrick’s Day is a pretty big deal.

      With 10 days of parades, masked dancing and steel drum music, the Caribbean island is the only country outside of Ireland where March 17 is a national holiday.

      But the celebrations aren’t just out of love for the patron saint – here, the holiday remembers both the nation’s early Irish influence and the enslaved people who rebelled against it.

      This is a celebration like no other with one traditional dance using a whip that resembles those used against the slaves who once lived on this island.

      (Image: Youtube/Island of Montserrat)4 of 9

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    2. Luck of the Irish

      One dedicated partygoer braved the cold in this daring outfit in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

      Not wanting to take any chances, this parade attendee came armed with her very own homemade lucky shamrocks.

      (Image: Getty Images)5 of 9

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    3. To infinity, and beyond!

      St Patrick’s Day isn’t just a big deal here on Earth – on March 17, 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield took the festival to the International Space Station, donning an all-green outfit to mark the occasion.

      Hadfield also snapped a pic of Tralee, Ireland, as the space station passed over it and even recorded an extraterrestrial rendition of the traditional Irish song "Danny Boy."

      (Image: NASA)6 of 9

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    1. Cracking open a green one

      Ohio might seem like an unlikely place for a St Patrick’s Day tradition to begin, but the university town of Oxford is thought to be the birthplace of Green Beer Day.

      The day pretty much does what it says on the tin. Pints are dyed a bright green colour in recognition of the national colour of Ireland.

      Green Beer Day doesn’t necessarily always take place on St Patrick’s Day, however, as it lands on the Thursday before Miami University’s infamous annual Spring Break.

      (Image: Getty Images)7 of 9

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    2. Rivers running green

      A bright green beer might not take your fancy, but what about a whole green river?

      Across the world, bodies of water are filled with artificial colourants, most famously in Chicago, where the dye was initially used in the city’s river in a bid to clean waterfront areas.

      Nowadays the bright hue is added to the water every year in March and the vibrant green tends to last for 24-48 hours as residents celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

      (Image: Getty Images)8 of 9

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    3. St Patrick’s Day "lipstick bandit"

      March 17 is a day to spread the love – but not everybody is keen on a kiss.

      A partygoer was dubbed the "lipstick bandit" after she was spotted kissing the shirts of oblivious men on a night out on St Patrick’s Day last year in Sydney, Australia.

      The woman (not pictured) could be seen applying lipstick before planting one on various partygoers, choosing those who were wearing light colours so her lip mark could be clearly seen.

      Not everyone was impressed though, with social media users calling her "petty".

      One commented: "This is terrible, she ruined a lot of relationships," while another chimed in: "That’s beyond petty, that’s a complete stranger."

      (Image: Getty Images)9 of 9

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