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Saint Patricks Day

Saint Patricks Day on the 17th of March is getting like Christmas eg getting bigger and going on for longer every year! To be honest though, Irish people themselves tend to celebrate it quietly at home unless you have young children when you will most likely take them to a parade if the day is fine, but not necessarily in Dublin as there are dozens of smaller ones around the country. The whole razzmatazz surrounding Saint Patricks Day was more of an invention by ex-patriots around the world looking for an excuse to celebrate their Irish roots on the day, not that there is anything wrong with that ! Particularly in America, where a huge amount of Irish emigrated, some of them never ever again to return to their homeland. Thankfully though, their children, grandchildren and even great grand-children have been coming home in their droves ever since, God Bless them! But as one Facebook friend, Paddy Patrick from New Zealand (what were her parent's thinking of?) astutely pointed out "St Patrick's Day is for the rest of the world, who don't know how to party like the Irish who party all year round". Well, I don't know about that, but here in Ireland, we would never actually drink green beer or dye whole rivers green as they do in Chicago, the latest craze being the 'greening' of iconic buildings across the globe, which is fun, but what next? We have unfortunately, adopted the whole silly hat thing.....

Celebrating Saint Patricks Day in Ireland on the 17th of March

Once upon a time, when I was a child at least, you just donned your homemade Saint Patricks Day badge or pinned a fistful of muddy shamrock to your lapel and went out to Mass to sing Hail Glorious St Patrick at the top of your lungs. Afterwards, if you were lucky and lived near enough to Dublin, you might be taken to the Parade to watch the marching bands and the odd float. Now, St Patrick's Day is a huge festival lasting a week, at least, with various multi-cultural and fun events through out the week for all the family and visitors alike, with an estimated 500,000 cramming Dublin's city centre for the Parade on the actual day. There is even a huge fireworks display  planned for Dublin or at an alternative venues throughout Ireland, (weather permitting) but Dublin really is the place to be if you can make it there on the 17th of March?

Saint Patricks Day parade Dublin, Ireland, 17th of March.

Down the country, as they say, although there are lots of small local local parades, Saint Patricks Day is much more likely to be celebrated in traditional style, especially on Irelands Islands and in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas with traditional music, sean nós singing and dancing, horse racing and GAA matches. We have been criticized for drinking too much and it's true, some people (tourists too) do go over board but there's not very much can be done about that, it's a free country after all and all cities are extremely well policed on the day so no one need worry. But, if you are not into that or have young children my advice would be to go out early and enjoy the day before it gets too hectic or messy....

You can get a smaller taster below....

And despite what you may have heard? there is a lot more to Ireland and Saint Patricks Day than shamrocks, leprechauns and crocks of gold. The following pages tell you the real story behind Saint Patrick, his feast day on 17th of March, and all the other associated traditions that celebrate our culture including....

St Patrick the legend who drove the snakes out of Ireland

Hill of Tara ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland

Fairies & Leprechauns the truth at last....

Holy Wells pagan origins, christian cures....

Shamrock, Or is it clover? how to tell the real thing....

Irish Parades their history & the story of Macnas....

Irish Dancing and the legend of Riverdance.

Traditional Irish Music and where to hear it for free.

Gaelic Sports football hurling & camogie.

National Anthems pride of our nation.

Irish stew soda bread etc ...

Guinness how to tell a good pint?

Irish Coffee what makes a good one?

Our other great national drink Tea...!

Click here to try a free St Patrick's Day Irish Lesson

Beannachti na Feile Padraig – Happy St Patricks Day


Irelands Hidden Gems