St Patrick’s Day Parade
St Patrick’s Day is famous the world over, a day of celebration for the Irish and those with Irish ancestry that come from all over the world to take part. Over in Ireland St Patrick’s Day goes back a long way, and naturally it’s named after St Patrick who lived from Ad385 to 461. This day of celebration however, started in the early 17th century and commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is a celebration that embraces Irish culture and religion, a day that celebrates Ireland’s roots, and a time for families to come together to celebrate in this colourful carnival atmosphere.
How the parade is celebrated
Naturally on the day it is traditional for those taking part and visiting to wear something green, a tradition that goes back a long way, as shamrocks and green ribbons were worn as early as the 17th century. Well over a million people attend the St Patrick’s Day Parade including those from Ireland and those visiting from abroad. The festival itself is a moving carnival of celebration which includes colourful floats, pageants and the city’s bikers resplendent on their Harvey Davidsons.
The parade includes marching bands that play a variety of music including both traditional Irish and more modern melodies. The bands also compete with each to win an overall prize at the end.
Of course St Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, however the celebrations start much sooner than that. Throughout the week building up to the Parade there is a variety of entertainment available which includes sports, some theatre, comedy and smaller art events. There’s a good mix there with something for everybody, and a lot of the entertainment is suitable for families with children.
The route the parade takes is about 1.6miles/2.5km and starts at 10am, concluding at around 12 noon. For those who wish to continue celebrating they can visit the pubs along the streets of Dublin where the party atmosphere is continued. The route itself takes in the city starting at Parnell Square and finishing at Christchurch Cathedral. The Parade is suitable for families and children of all ages so it’s a real family affair. Of course if you don’t like walking and standing for long periods, it is possible to buy a seat and watch the parade go by, although the parade itself is free, there is a charge for the seats.
Dublin itself is a beautiful city in which to hold this famous St Patrick’s Day Parade, and once the parade is over there’s plenty to occupy the weary traveller along the famous city streets of Dublin. It’s a large city, but it can be covered in a relatively short time and is littered with coffee bars to rest tired feet. Dublin has a mix of old and new with small and interesting shops that make a refreshing change from the more familiar shopping malls we’ve sadly become accustomed to. In Nassau Street there are some traditional Irish gifts for the tourist, and the Temple Bar and Wicklow Street shops reflect the creative culture that resides within this part of Dublin. There are well known high street stores for those that want a little familiarity, as old culture and new culture sit side by side, but there is something for everyone here.
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