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St. Patrick’s Festival Week in Ireland

- Pauline

Ireland during St. Patrick’s Festival Week is an experience that all Irish and non-Irish alike must include in their travel itineraries at least once. Starting today, March 16 and ending on Monday, March 19, there are numerous cultural events taking place in Dublin to mark the nation’s favorite holiday, which always attracts people of all ages every year.

Ireland can be a bit too touristy, particularly at this time and in the summer, but the country’s charms make those inconveniences minor in comparison. The people are friendly, the landscape is beautiful, and history is everywhere, without being too overpowering. It is a country that keeps attracting visitors all year long, even when it is not so green or warm at all. No one really complains if it rains a bit or they have to wear jackets; people are just glad to be there. For a good choice of hotels with discount prices, visit Hotels in Dublin for more information.

In America, St. Patrick’s Day tends to be associated with the color green, alcohol, and parades of police, firemen, and marching bands playing Irish music. In Ireland, it is about Irish history, culture, modernity, and multiculturalism. There really is no contest: Ireland is the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

This year’s theme for the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade centers around the wonders and curiosities of science, such as how a rainbow is formed, what creatures live in the ocean, how the senses work in the human body, and how electricity is made. The parade will begin on March 17 at 12:00 PM in Parnell Square, located in City Centre, Dublin. Bands from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Russia will join those from the U.S. on the parade route, making it a truly international experience. Expecting drunk, out of control crowds? Do not worry; tourists and locals alike are generally well-behaved before, during, and even after the parade is over.

Other events planned for the three day celebration are live music concerts, carnivals called Funfairs, and walking tours of the city. One attraction that should not be missed is a visit to the National Leprechaun Museum, which can be experienced all year long, but it takes on a special
significance during this particular week. The museum is unique because it celebrates Irish history, folklore, mythology, and storytelling with interactive exhibits and presentations. A favorite of visitors is the oversized room of furniture, which celebrates giants in Irish tales. Anyone can climb
onto the large chairs or sofa for photo opportunities. Visitors are encouraged to take photographs throughout the museum, and everyone who works there is friendly and open to questions.

Of course, there is so much more to Ireland than its capital city, so day trips or weekends to the northern, western, and southern counties are ideal, if there is time to do them justice. A tour bus or car is the best way to experience the Irish countryside, and to come across remnants of history along the way. Corcomroe Abbey, which is located in County Clare in Western Ireland, is one of those gems. It has not been inhabited since the fifteenth century (and it looks that way), but the detailed carvings and other unique designs on the structure are well-preserved, and the idyllic setting really makes it a great place to explore on foot.

Ireland can be a bit too touristy, particularly at this time and in the summer, but the country’s charms make those inconveniences minor in comparison. The people are friendly, the landscape is beautiful, and history is everywhere, without being too overpowering. It is a country that keeps attracting visitors all year long, even when it is not so green or warm at all. No one really complains if it rains a bit or they have to wear jackets; people are just glad to be there.

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