After the romantic runaways of Valentine’s Day, the wild parties of Mardi Gras we still have some celebrating to do in the coming month – Saint Patrick’s Day, the traditional feast of the Irish culture with lots of dark stout to drink and lots of Irish folk music to listen to. Paddy’s Day can be celebrated with friends at a local pub, of course, but that’s all about beer and music – to truly experience the celebration, one must attend one of the biggest Paddy’s Day festivals. Here are a few to try.
St. Patrick’s Festival, 14th to 17th March, Dublin
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath in Irish) is the capital and the largest city in Ireland. Where else could you celebrate Paddy’s Day in a more traditional fashion than in Ireland itself? The Festival itself is not something you would call “traditional”, in the sense that it was officially established by the Irish government in 1995, but it still serves its purpose: celebrating Ireland’s national holiday in a manner that will make the “owners” of the festival, the Irish people, proud.
Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival will have something for everyone: a treasure hunt, a walking tour on St. Paddy’s footsteps, street theater performances, music, boat rides, Irish Beer & Whiskey Festival, and lots of music, fun and green – the whole city will be “greened” for the festival.
St Patrick’s Day 2015, March 14 – 17, London
London hosts its own St. Patrick’s Day festival each year, in the weekend closest to March 17th, with a majestic parade. This year’s parade features spectacular pageantry, wonderful floats, marching bands from across the UK, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools, and will pass some of London’s most notable landmarks – The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and onto Whitehall. The Festival at Trafalgar Square, accessible to everyone, will feature an artisan Irish food market, comedy and film festivals, ceilidhs (the traditional Irish word for a party) with storytelling, music and dancing, as well as children’s activities and lots of beer and whiskey, I suppose.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 14th, 2015, Chicago
Chicago holds its St. Patrick’s Day Parade since 1955. The parade itself starts at Balbo and Columbusand proceeds north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain. The Chicago River will turn green for the event (no harm will be done to the environment). The traditional parade lasts for about three hours, and is held no matter what the weather might be like – so if you plan to attend, make sure to have your umbrella at hand.
Of course, you can choose to celebrate with your close friends, or simply open a keg of Guinness. Whatever you do, make sure to wear green!