Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland — Now you can take advantage of CHEAP FLIGHTS for only $506 ROUNDTRIP from Boston!
Like Carnevale in Venice, Easter in Rome, and Oktoberfest in Munich, St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin is the type of experience where lifelong memories are created. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are highlighted by a giant parade. All along the two-mile parade route, revelers sport an assortment of goofy hats and festive face paint. Delicate little sprigs of live shamrock clover are pinned to lapels and hats everywhere. The parade features a quirky conveyor belt of visual and audio stimuli, including school marching bands, giant puppets spidering along the street on long poles, crosier-staff-bearing St. Patricks in flowing green robes anointing the crowds with mock blessings, and colorful floats blowing Lawrence Welk bubbles and swirls of cloudlike foam into the air.
The revelry continues long after the parade ends. Bands on outdoor stages churn out lively rhythms laced with fiddle, banjo, and flute. Irish dance troupes featuring lasses in short skirts perform a precision swirl of set dancing as locals break into their own ragged impromptu dance steps, locking elbows and kicking up their heels. With all of the beer-drinking and celebrating going on, it’s easy to forget the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. March 17 commemorates the day St. Patrick died. A Roman boy enslaved by the Irish, Patrick helped Christianize Ireland peacefully in the fifth century. Legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock, with its three petals on one stem, to explain the Holy Trinity while converting a pagan Irish king. As is typical of any day in Ireland — not just St. Paddy’s — the real action is in the pubs. “Pub” is short for public house — an extended living room where, if you don’t mind the stickiness, you can feel the pulse of Ireland.
- March 17th was the actual date of the day Saint Patrick died in 461AD.
- St. Patrick’s Day weekend was/is traditionally the potato planting weekend in Ireland.
- St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in all of Ireland as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
- St. Patrick was born British and first visited Ireland when he was taken there as a slave by Irish raiders whom he later escaped from. After returning home he became a priest and later returned to Ireland to turn the pagan Irish into Christians.
- The colour of St. Patrick was originally blue, but was later changed to green in reference to the shamrock he wore and used to explain the holy trinity to the pagans and also it relates to Irish nationalism.
- St. Patrick’s day began as a religious holiday and until the 1970s bars and pubs in Ireland weren’t allowed to even be open on St. Patrick’s day. Rumour has it that Americans are the ones who turned it into somewhat of a drinking fest and are the first to celebrate it with a parade.
- The first St. Patrick’s day parade in New York dates back to 1762 and it is now the largest and longest in the world.