St. Patrick’s Day Ireland & The US
“A traveller without observation is a bird without wings”-Moslih Eddin Saadi. So you’re planning a trip to Ireland eh? And when should you go and why? Well, Ireland is one of the most mystical yet beautiful places in the world. From the magic of the druids to St Patrick and the advent of Christendom, to the royal castles, the mystery-evoking hills & vales, from fairy mounds, to busy Dublin streets to the beautiful sea-coast, everything about Ireland is in one word, beautiful! I’ve always been Irish at heart and always wanted to visit Ireland. So, on our Anniversary, my wife Jennifer bought us and the children tickets for a trip to Ireland. I was pretty overjoyed at the fact that we’d reach on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.
For all those of you who would like to know a little bit history, St. Patrick who has always been known as the Apostle of Ireland was born at Kilpatrick, located near Dumbarton, Scotland, in 387 A.D. This great man first a priest, then a monk and finally the Bishop and founder of The Catholic Church in Ireland, has been remembered for his teachings, his famous work being ‘Confessions’ of St. Patrick and for his method of evangelization. St. Patrick, after greatly having toiled for the country of Ireland, for having defended The Irish from the persecutions from the British Church; and after having spread the gospel of Christ among the sons and daughters of Ireland; passed away in The Hands of Christ, and his bodily remains are at Saul, Downpatrick, in Ireland, on 17th of March, 493 A.D. since, the 17th of March has been a holy-day and a holiday for the Irish and thus came to be known as St. Patrick’s Day.
Coming back to our trip, we reached Dublin on 16th March 2017 at 6:30 in the evening. After the formalities at the Dublin Airport, we boarded the car sent by our friends, Joanna and her husband Jacob; and reached their house on Bóthar Ailesbury. John & Suzanne our children spent a good evening play time with Edward, Joanna & Jacob’s son. After an early, dinner, we went to bed since we would have to wake up early next morning, for St. Patrick’s Day. On 17th March i.e. St. Patrick’s day, we got ready and Jacob drove us to the Church for the Liturgy of commemorating St. Patrick. After the Holy Mass, we went out to the streets and were amazed at the beautiful parades, shops and other festive outlooks.
Jacob said to us “did you know that Dublin holds the greatest and the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Several hundred and thousands of people come out to the streets, all dressed out in unrestrained and dazzling green costumes, in order to observe the exuberant four-day carnival.” Moreover, he told us that Dublin hosts a luxuriant parade, with events with themes, followed by treasure-hunt that takes place throughout the city. Moreover, there are street performances with pubs by the way. There is an awesome firework show that takes place over the Liffey river. It was so awesome that we seemed to become as the locals were. It was certainly amazing for the kids as well.
Jacob and Joanna also took us to see the most amazing parade that Dublin holds every year on St. Patrick’s Day. Although St. Patrick’s Day is strictly an Ireland-origin Festival. Yet, the parade originated not in Ireland but in the New York City, in the year 1762. Irish soldiers that served in the English army paraded through the streets of the New York City in order to observe St. Paddy’s Day. The idea spread to Ireland and became a success thereby spreading in all parts of Ireland. We came to know that there were some other places like Galway, Cork, Kilkenny and Downpatrick where the St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with great pomp.
The Locals literally gave us a To Do List, although humorous, we quite enjoyed it as the Bard puts it, “to the brink of the cup”. Here’s the list that they gave us:
Firstly, drinking shots of Guinness is one of the traditions followed by the Irish, and St. Patrick’s, this Guinness-drinking ‘celebration’ ascends to a whole brand-new level. During this four day festival, 13 million Guinness are drunk. “Stop bein’ lame lad, say ‘SIAiInte’, take that first cup mate”, said an old Irishman. The word “SIAiinte” is the Irish word for ‘Cheers’.
Second, when it’s about the drunk-munchies, fill your tummies with chips. When Jenny called the potato-fries “french fries”, an Irish woman said, “not French fries lady, THEY AREN’T FRENCH FRIES, THEY’RE CHIPS.” what’s the difference? Well these Irish chips are delicious and wedge-cut, and these you’ll find at just about every single pub in Ireland, so you’ll find “chips” easy-bizy, in an affordable, and as the Irish say, “so dang good.” And also don’t forget the St. Paddy’s Cakes.
Finally, it is Dame Lane is where the parade begins at 12 noon, but the floats do not pass until an hour later, say after 1 in the afternoon, so wear comfy shoes and bring in some booze n’ beverages to drink in the meanwhile. So make sure you get to the parade early & wait for it to begin.
For all those of you who can’t make it to Ireland, here are some places in the U.S. where St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with grandeur: Chicago, IL, St. Louis, MO, Cleveland, OH, Savannah, GA etc. Basically, the customs & cultures are one and the same. So make sure you keep yourselves available for St. Patrick’s Day.
Coming back to our trip, after enjoying a four days trip and celebration, Ireland seemed more like home and thus it was very painful to leave our beloved friends and that wonderful mystical land. But we did return with loads of memories.
Oh! Before closing, I’d really like to inform you how helpful it was for Jenny to have booked our tickets on www.faremachine.com. They provide loads of offers and deals and tourism packages on their website. Bon Voyage to all who’re going to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day.
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