The small island nation of Montserrat is the only country in the world besides Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is a national holiday, though it is celebrated with a uniquely Caribbean twist.
A quick history lesson: in the 1600s, some anti-Catholic violence on the neighboring islands led a group of Irish indentured servants to settle in Montserrat, and soon nearly half of the population was Irish. Nearly a century later, the slaves of the island rebelled on St Patrick’s Day, and Montserratians now choose the day to commemorate their unique cultural heritage. Celebrations are in full swing this year, as the festival began last week on with several events including Catch the Mermaid, an island-wide treasure hunt, and it will continue through 20 March. Activities include concerts, feasts and an event called Leprechaun’s Revenge, an all-night party.