ST PATRICK´S DAY- what´s the craic?!
Every year, on March the 17th, the Irish and all the Irish community across the globe commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a traditional religious celebration for the patron saint of Ireland, has rapidly become an international festival that celebrates Irish culture with a lot of parties, parades, dancing shows and special events linked to the traditional Irish cuisine, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie.
While it was made an official holiday in 1903, the first Saint Patrick’s Festival was held in 1996. We don’t know precisely the exact dates of St. Patrick’s life, but we can be sure of the fact that he was an active missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Despite the fact that his father was a Roman-British army officer as well as a deacon, the young Patrick was not a believer. His life was ordinary, and completely unexceptional, until the age of 16, when he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland.
During this period, he became increasingly religious. He considered his kidnapping and imprisonment as a punishment for his lack of faith and spent a lot of time in prayer. After a vision led him to stow away on a boat bound for Britain where he had a dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God, Patrick decided to become a missionary. He studied theology in a French monastery and returned to Irish shores as a bishop sent with the Pope’s blessing.
Another popular belief is that St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland.The story says that while St. Patrick was fasting, snakes attacked him, so he chased all snakes into the ocean.
The very first celebration for St. Patrick’s Day was organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston and held in 1737 in order to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from. After this first date, St. Patrick’s Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade, as they often feature marching military unites.
The holiday eventually evolved from the modest religious dinner into the raucous holiday we know today. Nowadays, a lot of events related to the “Apostle of Ireland” are held throughout America.
In Boston, a city where one of the largest Irish-American community lives, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations bring over 500,000 visitors to the city. Events are held in the large number of Irish pubs in the city and at the Irish Cultural Center. In the East Coast, New York City is the place of the oldest and biggest parade that may include veterans along with firefighters, policemen, and cultural clubs. Other cities that will hold parades and will commemorate this very special day for the Irish community are Chicago, New Orleans and Scranton.
Now we will focus on the celebrations held in Dublin.(Source: www.stpatricksfestival.ie)
The St Patrick´s Day festival starts this Saturday. Dublin has a long list of events on around the city for you to participate all leading to the to best part, the amazing parade on the 17th. No matter what age you are or where you are from, child or adult, Irish or not, you will join in with the craic for the most important festival in Ireland.
“13 million pints will be consumed on St Patrick´s Day!” But, despite this, don´t think of this as a party just for drinking, there are many more things to do to ensure you have an unforgettable experience at this festival. Here we suggest some events in Dublin to immerse yourself in the festival and have fun!:
“In the Footsteps of St. Patrick-Walking Tour”
Enjoy one of these special walks in celebration of Ireland’s national patron saint in the company of professional and enthusiastic guides and discover its fascinating history and the two cathedrals of Dublin: Christ Church and St Patrick´s. Tour duration: approximately 2 hours. The walks will run on Saturday 14th March, Sunday 15th March, Monday 16th March, Tuesday 17th March & Wednesday 18th March at 11.00am & 2.15pm. For more information: www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events/event/walking_tour
From waltzers to family attractions to the carousel there is something for everyone at the funfair. Dare to be suspended upside down, turned over or whisked through the air. The funfairs will light up the city!
Merrion Square Dates & Times:
Saturday 14th – Tuesday 17th March: 11am – 9pm
Custom House Dates & Times:
Saturday 14th: 11am-10pm Sunday 15th & Tuesday 17th March: 11am- 8pm
Irish Beer & Whiskey Festival
Running for its fourth year – the Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival is a true celebration of everything Irish – beer, cider, whiskey, food and entertainment! This festival is indoors so you don’t need to worry about the weather as you browse the stalls, enjoy a masterclass or two and soak up the festive atmosphere and live music.
Dates: 13-17th March 2015. Venue: Hall 1, Main Hall, RDS, Dublin 4 (main RDS entrance) Friday: 5pm – 12.30am. Saturday-Tuesday: 12.30pm – 12.30am Price: €10 entry includes live music, free souvenir glass and free half pint!
Irish Boat Races
The Irish Boat Races will take place on the river Liffey, between rivals University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin University (Trinity College). The 2km rowing course, will start at 3:30pm on O’Connell Bridge and travel past many of Dublin’s landmarks on its way up the river, finishing at St. James’ Gate. This will be a unique chance to see two universities battle it out in a thrilling series of races.
Greening the City
Watch as some of Dublin’s most iconic buildings “Go Green” to celebrate the Festival with us. Below is a list of buildings that are taking part in 2015!
Mansion House -Convention Centre -St. Patrick’s Cathedral -Guinness Storehouse -Connolly Station -Heuston Station-National Museum of Ireland (Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, D7)-National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology, Kildare Street, D2)-National Museum of Ireland ( Natural History, Merrion Street, D2)-Glasnevin Museum’s Daniel O’Connell Tower -Ulster Bank, George’s Quay -Ulster Bank, College Green- Bank of Ireland, 2 College Green -Bord Gáis Energy Theatre-Odeon Bar-Grafton Lounge-The Twelve Hotel, Galway
On top of this, as we mentioned before, people outside of Ireland also celebrate this day and some of the most important building in the world are illuminated like the Eiffel tower, The Tower of Pisa , The London Eye, The Statue of Liberty, The statue of Christ the Redeemer, The Burj Al Arab, The Great Wall of China, etc!
Merrion Square, the heart of Georgian Dublin provides the stunning setting for this day-long street carnival, bursting with energy, colour, whimsical antics and the truly bizarre. Be wowed by daring aerial shows, sensational street theatrics, mind boggling workshops, lively spoken word, rousing music and more.
Sun, 15 Mar. Time:12pm – 6pm. Venue: Merrion Square, Dublin 2. FREE Event!
Music In The City
Enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor musical performances from an eclectic mix of performers and artists. Lively song, upbeat tones and rhythmic beats will fill the air and get you in tune with the Festival celebrations. Bringing some of Ireland’s best music groups to this year’s festival will ensure that there is something for everyone.
Check out all the above information at: www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events/event/music_in_the_city1
St. Patrick’s Festival 5K Road Race For the more energetic festival goer take part in the annual Festival 5K Road Race! The course takes you through the heart of beautiful Georgian Dublin and is suitable for families, fun runners and dedicated athletes. You can be assured of a lively atmosphere as street performers, face painters and musicians will be on hand to entertain, and spectators will line the route to cheer you on.
12:00 PM, Sun, 15 Mar.
Venue: Start Line on Dawson Street
To register for the race go to: www.patricksrun.com
Tuesday 17 th March, St Patrick’s Day! The day has arrived and the city of Dublin is becoming completely green!
“Celebrate Now”, is the theme for the 2015 Festival Parade which will be brought to life when a leading pageant companies shows their fantastic creations and thrilling performances inspired by the present designed to enthral and excite the crowd. With more than 650.000 attending and performing the parade is 2.5km long.
Route: Parnell Square,- O’Connell Street-O’Connell bridge-Westmoreland Street-Trinity College-College Green-Dame Street-Christ Church Cathedral-Lord Edward Street-Nicolas Street-Patrick Street-Saint Patrick´s Cathedral.
Amidst the colourful pageantry bands from the USA, Mexico, Germany and Ireland will deliver uplifting music and inspiring rhythms. This spectacular procession will wind its way through the heart of Dublin city bursting with colour and theatrics.
Don´t miss it! Remember, next Tuesday from 12.00pm! Paint your face green, dress up and get involved in the good mood on St Patrick’s Day!
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!
*Don´t hesitate to contact us if you want to enjoy St Patrick´s Day Festival next year while studying an English course in our school! Greeting from the team at Travelling Languages…your languages school on the road.