Ireland’s biggest festival and celebration – St. Patrick’s Day is taking place next month! Now is the time to plan that long-awaited trip to Ireland to celebrate it with us! After all, St.Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland – so we really do know how to celebrate it best!
Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and it is celebrated all over the world, but there really is nowhere to match the excitement, colour and atmosphere than in Ireland! On this special day, young and old, don the green and head to the local St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Parades take place in towns the length and breadth of the country, while some little villages have parades too! The main parades take place in the larger cities of Cork, Galway, Belfast, Limerick, Kilkenny and of course, the capital Dublin.
Not only does Dublin boast one of the best St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the world, it also hosts a fantastic week long St. Patrick’s Festival. This year it will run from Friday 12th to Wednesday 17th of March. The purse strings have been tightened, but we are assured there will be no let-up on the festival’s mantra of ‘free fun’.
Although the festival committee are currently working hard to organise and compile the 2010 festival events, we only have to look back at the 2009 festival to get a glimpse of what to expect. The 2009 festival was literally bursting with entertainment and events. It featured plenty of street entertainment, comedy, a huge treasure hunt, lots of Irish music, singing and dancing and of course the spectacular St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is without doubt, the highlight of the festival. It usually starts at Parnell Square, continues down O’Connell Street, onto College Green and Dame Street. It features a variety of marching bands both from Ireland and all over the world, colourful floats, Irish dancers, street performers and lots more. The route of about 2.5km through the city centre was lined with well over half a million people and millions tuned it to watch it on TV.
No one knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day quite like the Irish and you only have to venture to one of the local pubs to find out! Most pubs will have traditional Irish music and dance and like we say in Ireland, plenty of “craic agus ceol”! ‘Drowning the Shamrock’ is an ancient tradition in Ireland on this day. Long ago, our ancestors would take the shamrock from their lapel and put it into their final drink of the day and make a toast. They would them remove the shamrock from the bottom of the glass and throw it over their shoulder.
If you are looking for a time to visit Ireland, then come for the St. Patrick’s celebrations but be warned, this is an extremely busy period of the year in Ireland, so booking well in advance is essential. Check out flights now and if you need car hire, check it out now too as the earlier you book these the cheaper they should be.
Accommodation is in high demand this time of the year and especially where the larger parades will be taking place. We highly recommend you book your accommodation now as if you leave it too late you may be disappointed. Visit our Ireland accommodation page or our hotel deals page.
If you need any help planning your St. Patrick’s Day trip to Ireland, please get in touch. We can help you with your accommodation and car hire. If you’ve any queries or you just need some advice, please get in touch in the comment box below and we’ll get back to you right away. Keep an eye on our blog for further St. Patrick’s Day events for 2010…
Please note that this year St. Patrick’s Day falls on Wednesday 17th of March and is a Bank Holiday in Ireland.