There might be times when, in Ireland, you’ll find yourself slightly bored, scrolling up and down your phone, swiping left and right, watching videos with cats meowing on rhythms of rap. But not on St. Patrick’s day, no.
On this 2017 St. Patrick’s Day, you have no reason not to hit the road and make the best of your Irish experience. Set as an annual celebration of Irish life, achievements and talents – of Irish people, all in all, this day is the day when… everybody is Irish. And here’s what the Irish do on St. Patrick’s Day, in Ireland.
1. Go green.
Multiple iconic buildings and venues from Dublin will be illuminated on Thursday, the 16th of March. To mark the beginning of a memorable weekend, that is. On the list of the greenest ones you’ll find St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Convention Centre, The Mansion House, The Christchurch Cathedral, Trinity College, The General Post Office. And the list continues.
2. The prawn, the real show-stopper.
In the fishing village of Howth, The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival will be a real show-and-tell of appetising food sensations, including the renowned Dublin Bay Prawn dishes. During the evening, you will have fixed price menus, especially set for this festival, and if you’ll bathe your taste buds in that culinary ocean, you might wish to check out a few live cooking “how-to” demos and street demonstrations performed by local fishermen. The setting and seaside antics will create a panorama worthy of becoming a lovely postcard you’d send home.
3. Good sounds – music to our ears.
At The Sugar Club on Leeson Street, there will be an Irish music programme hosted by Donal Dineen waiting for you to put on your dancing shoes. Be there by 6pm, on the 17th, to learn about Nico Mulhy, Maeve Higgins and chat with other Dubliner musicians now living in New York.
4. Hey, where’s the treasure?
Discover Dublin by taking part in a Festival Treasure Hunt, that lasts for nearly 2 hours. Gather up to 4 uni friends, explore, know all the correct answers in the world, collect the right stamps from the participating venues and win lots of prizes (such as Carlingford Adventure Centre Skypark passes for 4, a rafting trip on Liffey for 7, and a Scubapass for 4 at the National Aquatic Centre). Oh, and as proof of your adventurous spirit, wearing a costume is preferable.
5. Dunk yourself in a burst of colours.
Ear-popping performances, outlandish shows and spectacles of grandeur – it’s what you should get ready for at the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. Here, bands from France, Germany, the Bahamas, Switzerland and whatnot will join Ireland’s vibration to shake up the best of the Irish. Humming the lyrics of “Ireland you are…” is a must.
Over this long weekend, you can either soak up everything Temple Bar has to offer and ask O’Connell for more advice on what’s the fastest way to have fun in Dublin’s city centre, or, why not, head to Cork. Starting with the 17th of March, peppy, upbeat music and carnivalesque spirits will liven up at every corner: street performances, all sorts of fairs, 5K road races, culminating with one of the most colourful parade in the world.
Top tip: if you choose to swing by Cork, note that every St. Patrick’s veteran of fun knows that this is the place to be on this one of a kind day. A first-class rival of Dublin, Cork is home to… the shortest St. Patrick day ever, of only 25 yards from one pub to another. Workshops, food and crafts market accompany great sound and street shows, which you won’t want to miss. Sláinte!