St Patrick, a Saint that on the 17th of March brings Irish communities and Irish culture lovers together through sun, rain or hail, all wearing their green gear. Ireland and Dublin in particular are hosting some of the more authentic festivals to celebrate its’ patron’s day!
Dublin is the capital city of the celebrations now, but it wasn’t always this way.
Surprisingly the first St Patrick’s parade took place in New York, USA, where the Irish soldiers who were serving the British army back in 1762 marched to Irish music. The first St Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland was held in Waterford only in 1903.
These days Paddy’s day is associated with having fun and drinking Guinness to the rhythm of traditional Irish music, but it began as a religious holiday and until 1970’s bars and pubs in Ireland weren’t even allowed to be open on the day.
St. Patrick’s festival 2018
Dublin city warmly welcomes over 100.000 overseas visitors each year.
Multiple cultural events, involving thousands of talented Irish and international musicians, dancers, storytellers and performers, are taking place in Dublin during the festival. The inspiring theme of this year’s festival is ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’.
The “greening” of the city: as soon as the sun goes down on the 15th of March all major landmarks, iconic buildings and venues are illuminated with green lights creating an impressive and festive atmosphere all around the city.
The Parade: the main moment of this celebration is of course the parade! Colourful floats, music bands, flamboyant performances and cheering crowds make this event really special and unique.
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival: This authentic foodie experience hosted by the village of Howth is a must for prawn lovers. The food is accompanied by craft beers and free music entertainment.
Who was St Patrick?
Saint Patrick was born in 4th century in England. When he was young he was kidnapped, as many others English lads, by Irish riders who sold him into slavery to Northern Ireland. During his years in slavery he became increasingly religious and even considered his bad luck as a direct consequence to his lack of faith. After a few years he managed to escape back to his homeland where he reunited with his family.
He returned to Ireland as an adult because of a dream he had, where the Irish were calling him back to tell them about God. His mission was to convert pagan Ireland into Christianity. For twenty years he travelled the length and breadth of the island, baptising people and establishing monasteries, schools and churches as he went.
He is associated with the Shamrock as he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover.