For ’tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray,
And it’s green, green, green, all the happy night and day;
Green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall,
And the blessed Irish shamrock with the fairest green of all.
Mary Elizabeth Blake
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17 to honor St. Patrick. Probably, the first question that pops up in your mind is “who is this Patrick and why there is such a big celebration to commemorate him?” St. Patrick Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland and that is why he is considered to be the most prominent saint in Irish history. Although it is a religious feast, that dates to the 17th century, with time it has turned into a variety of festivals across the whole world, celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, music, special foods and plenty of green. It became so popular that nowadays you can see people celebrating it almost in every country, even they are not Irish and have never been to Ireland.
Some people say, that leprechauns, soda bread, and green beer have absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick. While many see St Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink endless pints of Guinness while wearing a green wig. To be honest, there is some truth in these words, but I do believe that as every single holiday that exists in the world, St. Patrick’s Day is created to unite people. Let’s not dig deep into history and religious and political issues. Let’s find something we can enjoy about this event, what we can do and we shouldn’t do.
First, what to wear? Dress up, but remember that, you don’t need to put too many efforts in your look, this holiday is about wearing all green, but not about dressing like a Leprechaun (avoid ‘sexy’ leprechaun outfit). You can put on a green shirt, green hat, green socks, green sunglasses, and a green necklace and that will be more than enough. Do temporary tattoo, such as a shamrock on the cheek, for example.
Second, where to go? To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin like a true Irish, don’t miss St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. Ireland’s capital city hosts a stunning parade that draws a crowd of thousands of locals and tourists. Therefore, you’d better wake up early, and be on the streets at 9-10 am, looking for the best parade-watching spot. The legendary parade will go across the city and will certainly amaze with its host of brilliant performers, vivid colours, and impressive unique handcrafted structures. This world-known festival is worth coming, so make sure you’re at the very heart of it.
Third, any holiday is impossible without food and booze. In Dublin, people are divided into two types: those who steer clear of the bar crawling, preferring live music, an evening with family and friends, or dining in a traditional pub and those who are partying in Temple Bar. You can soak up the traditions of Ireland without fighting, drinking yourself under the table or you can join drunken revelers and drink till you can. I advise you to mix fun and traditions. Some people consider that drinking a pint of Guinness is one of the most important things to do in Ireland. No pressure, but Irish festival without beer seems boring. To look cool, say ‘Sláinte!’(slawn-cha) and take the first sip. Highlights like the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery are great for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional drink and less bar noisy atmosphere. You can also grab an authentic Irish meal at one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous traditional Irish pub, called Johnnie Fox’s Pub (25-35 minutes drive from Dublin City Centre). Each night the pub provides guests with tantalizingly delicious dishes, top dancing Irish performances, and vibrant local music.
Except drinking and devouring tons of food, you can simply walk around Dublin’s fair city to contemplate iconic buildings illuminated in green, such as The General Post Office, Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral, The Mansion House and The Convention Centre.
If you are interested in learning more about mythology and folklore of Ireland, visit the National Leprechaun Museum. At daytime, you can enjoy folklore on a guided tour in a fun way. While at night you have an opportunity to listen to twisted tales from the darker side of Ireland (mind that this tour is for the 18+ audience only). Prices for tours depend on whether it is daytime (€10-14 per person) or night-time tour (€16).
Before going to St. Patrick’s Day, try to carefully plan your trip. The most important thing is to book everything in advance. Just like with any other big festival around the world, like Carnival in Brazil or Oktoberfest in Germany, it is better to book flight and accommodation beforehand. We also strongly recommend planning at least five days in Dublin, as the St. Patrick’s Day festivities last longer than just one day. Last one thing, remember, that during this celebration there are so many things to see and do in the city aside from just drinking and watching the parade.
Do you hunger for astonishing Irish celebration? Then don’t miss the chance to attend all the fabulous events on upcoming St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Leave your excuse at home and come to celebrate and party away in lively, bustling rhythms of Dublin.
ENJOY! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!