Saint Patrick’s Day, also referred to as the Feast of Saint Patrick or St. Paddy’s Day is a yearly celebration which takes place on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish, it commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
Regardless of whether they have Irish roots or not, it seems nearly everybody wants to be at least a little Irish that day. People from all backgrounds join in on wearing green outfits and painting shamrocks on their faces. Those of christian faith attend church and as is tradition, plenty of food and drink is consumed on the day.
What is the festival about?
Irish people are known to be a hard working people and talented in many things. The festival was created in an effort to showcase the various skills of young and old, rich and poor. With the first St. Patrick’s Festival lasting only one day and night back in 1996, it quickly grew into an impressive 4 to 5 day celebration over the years.
Every year there is a specific theme the entertainment is kept in line with. This year’s festival is all about storytelling. You will find a great selection of domestic and international bands, street theatre performances and plenty of otherwise artistic interpretations of the 2019 theme.
There is a wide selection of daily performances and things to do from Thursday 14th March until Monday 18th March 2019. Below, we have summarised some personal favourites for each day, bearing in mind that you may be working during day time hours on weekdays. Please ensure you check the full list of all events for potential changes before attending. https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events
In the footsteps of St. Patrick (Thursday, 14th March at 10.30am and 2.15pm)
Much of the pre-Viking development of Dublin owes its origins to the legacy of St. Patrick. This tour will give you access to ancient sights that most tourists and even Dubliners tend to miss including the two great medieval cathedrals “Christ Church” and “St. Patrick”.
Venue: St. Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 (at Molly Malone statue) Ticket: €16
Greening the city (Friday, 15th March at 5.59pm)
In celebration of Ireland’s national holiday, buildings, venues and spaces across the city illuminate green for the Festival. After the sun sets, take a stroll through the streets of Dublin’s fair city to enjoy these iconic buildings bathed in light, a cityscape transformed. For a full list of buildings visit https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/siteDocs/Greening_the_city_2019_confirmed_buildings.pdf
City at Play Funfairs (Saturday 16th March, 11am - 9pm)
From waltzers and bumper cars to old time carousels, there’s something for everyone at the City at Play: Funfair! Dare to be suspended upside down or whisked through the air at amazing speed! A firm Festival favourite, the Funfair will light up the city with colourful carnival fairground attractions. Suitable for all the family, enjoy the thrills and spills of the Funfair experience!
Venue: Custom House Quay, D1 Price: Varies from ride to ride.
The words that bind us (Saturday 16th March at 3pm)
The Words That Bind Us is a project that brings together poets from Ireland and Scotland to collaborate with a new generation of young writers. Students from Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun for example have created new work through participative workshops that explore the themes of belonging and identity. Leyla Josephine has also been working with a group of young girls to produce a female only creative space celebrating the power and potential of young women growing up in Dublin today.
Venue: axis, Ballymun, Main St, Ballymu Ticket: €10 (book in advance)
St. Patrick’s festival parade (Sunday 17th March at 12 noon)
This will be the highlight of the festival! Irish and International bands will deliver captivating musical scores that are sure to echo through the streets of the capital. Street theatre and pageant companies, gear up to dazzle with their artistic performances.
Venue: City Centre, starting at Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Parade route map: https://stpatricksfestival.ie/eventImages/Parade_Route_for_Web2.jpg
Candlelit Tales (Monday 18th March at 8.30pm)
Candlelit Tales are a troupe of musicians, dancers, storytellers and performers that have a passion for injecting new life into the old and sometimes forgotten stories. Round up your festival experience with captivating stories of what happens when pagan warrior poets and Christian monks talk philosophy, when goddesses decide to settle down and build convents, and when the Devil herself gets run out of town.
Pro Tip: With all that fun going on for 5 days, don’t forget to plan your journeys in advance and allow extra travel time for route diversions.
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