Tourism Ireland

How the Irish Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

by Nia Scott

Apr 8, 2019

© Martine Oger |
Among the more surprising destinations on the list, cities across Canada offer some of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world. From Newfoundland, where 80 percent of the population are of Irish descent, to Ottawa and Montreal, you’ll find authentic St. Patrick’s Day traditions dating back to 1824.

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While we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day last month, it’s never too early to start planning for next year. In order to fully appreciate the holiday any year, it’s helpful to know more about the Irish celebrate. In America, St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated with people dressing in green and those of age drinking. However, there is a more traditional way to observe the holiday than the stereotypical day out drinking and partying with friends. In Ireland, where the holiday originates, the citizens have more traditions they follow.

In major cities like Dublin or Cork, the traditional things get overlooked for a day that includes drinking and gathering with others. In Dublin, on this day, people pile into the city center for a parade. The holiday has gained so much popularity that now celebrating lasts for about a week instead of just that day. In addition to the parade, there are various cultural events and people dressing up in colorful green outfits.

In rural Ireland travelers can find a more traditional style of celebrating. Folks will play traditional music and follow up with traditional singing and dancing as well. Some of the dances date back to older generations and are exciting for outsiders to watch and experience. Many rural areas will host horse racing and their own parade as well. In smaller towns, it’s still a good idea to drink a Guinness or similar Irish drink to join in the festivities. The rural areas are great places to bring children because they can get the full experience without dealing with the crowds of Dublin or Cork.



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