Saint Patrick’s day in Ireland is easily the biggest celebration of the year after Christmas and it is the one which brings the most tourists and visitors to the country. Visitors are keen to see how Ireland celebrates its patron saint and essentially have the craic as we call it.
Of course, the biggest saint Patricks day celebrations are held in the United States and there are big celebrations across the world. However, Ireland is where most people would love to be.
Finding the right venue and place to stay for March 17th can be a bit of a headache. This post is here to show help you plan your trip and give you some insights into Ireland patron saint.
Saint Patrick’s Day In the United States
Many people are surprised to learn that Saint Patricks day celebration originated in the United States. Of course, Ireland celebrated too, but back in those days, it was a very holy and sombre affair as was everything in Ireland. Luckily that doesn’t happen anymore.
The Irish diaspora wanted to celebrate there Irishness and develop a community spirit in the new world, where they were not generally welcome in the beginning.
The festivities, parades music and entertainment among the diaspora were obviously liked by those at home and abroad and it has allowed Saint Patrick’s day to becomes one of the most widely celebrated festivities around the globe.
Saint Patrick’s day in Ireland
As a national holiday, Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated across the whole island of Ireland in both small and large communities. This ranges from large parades to smaller local gatherings with live music and food.
Of course, all the largest towns in Ireland tend to celebrate with a parade with the largest taking place in Dublin. These parades usually involve members of the health and security services, local sports teams, sponsored floats and a religious contingent.
Mostly geared towards families and children the parades are held midday and create a small carnival atmosphere wherever they are held. There are of course slight variations of celebrations depending on where you visit and we will look at these below.
Saint Patrick’s day in Dublin
Dublin has the largest celebrations and parades which winds its way through the streets of Dublin and usually ends close to O’Connell street. Live music and a festive atmosphere will be noticeable in the bars and restaurants around the city from early in the day and most visitors tend to find themselves in Temple bar or other popular watering holes throughout the city,
Expect plenty of face paint, funny costumes and a lively atmosphere wherever you tend to decide to visit.
The parade in Dublin tends to have the largest military parade segment and it is a good place for those interest in military history and outfits etc. You may also have the chance to spot some celebrities and local sports stars who join the cords on Dublin’s streets.
Visitors coming for the celebrations should book accommodation for a few days before and after the festivities as they will most certainly want to stay a little longer. I would recommend booking well in advance to get the best deals on accommodations.
Saint Patrick’s day in Galway
Galway is known to be one of the liveliest towns in Ireland and due to its small size and lay you it is one of the best places to visit throughout the year but especially on Saint Patrick’s day.
The pedestrianised zones and Eyre square are always packed with people throughout the day enjoying live music, buskers and the parade floats which pass by. Here is one of the best places to hear great original and traditional Irish music and really immerse yourself in Irish culture.
You can wake early and take a walk down to the Spanish arches and enjoy looking at the locals as they prep for the day ahead. You will certainly be mesmerised by the Irish dancing and singing you will surely discover throughout the day.
As with Dublin, I would book ahead of time or maybe get a place a little out of town. Always is a favourite for tourist and locals alike on Saint Patrick’s day.
As one of Ireland cultural gems, Galway should definitely be considered for Saint Patrick’s day.
Saint Patrick’s day in Cork
As the second largest city in the republic, Cork also makes a great effort for Saint Patrick day celebrations.
Voted the cultural capital of Ireland, locals do their best to maintain this position and this can be seen in the organisation of the parades, showcasing of local musical talent and in the huge list of events that take place across the city.
Corks Saint Patrick’s day is definitely family orientated with events lasting throughout the day and night for the whole family.
Things you should know about Saint Patrick’s day
Everywhere will be busy. Hotels and restaurants should be booked in advance especially if you are staying ion one of the larger towns and cities. As it is a national holiday, plenty of Irish families will be travelling for the celebrations also.
Don’t feel shy. When I was younger wearing costumes and dressing up wasn’t hugely popular but now locals and of course tourists are more than happy to don funny outfits and get involved in the festivities.
Don’t plan to visit any of the famous sights around the capital, transport and open times will all be disrupted. Try to arrive a few days earlier or leave yourself with a number of days after the 17th sightsee.
If you can, avoid Temple bar. It is quite expensive and it can be hugely crowded from early in the day to late at night.
It’s Saint Patrick’s day or Paddy’s day but most definitely not the Pattys day.
When is Saint Patrick’s day? 17th of March
Events: Parades, Mass, Live Music, Irish Dancing and Singing, Plenty of busy bars and pubs and a lot of street performers.
To learn more check out my list of 13 things to know before visiting Ireland