Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dublin's Dual-Edged Relationship with St. Patrick's Day

It's St. Paddy's week, and throughout the world, people are getting ready to celebrate the feast day of the English-born, Irish-made Catholic Saint Patrick. The epicenter of all this sudden holiness is right here in Dublin. Just as you'd expect, the locals are gearing up for the party getting the hell out of town.

Irish Tricolor Banners Going up in Dublin 2015
Irish Tricolor Banners Going up in Dublin

Even the politicians don't want to hang around as the city braces for the biggest tourist (and cash) influx of the year. Going around town the last few days, I've already seen the party ramping up. Leprechaun beards, buckled green hats, and kitschy novelty souvenirs are hanging in many shop windows and from half-drunk humans in and around City Centre.

Dublin's relationship with the annual melee is two-sided: they graciously embrace and welcome the international tourists (and their money) to the city true to the famous Irish reputation for hospitality, but loath the noise they make and the mess they leave in their wake.

In an age where binge drinking is being recognized as a major health hazard rather than harmless, youthful fun, Dublin on St. Patrick's Day remains one of the last bastions of debauchery, rivaling Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio, especially in Temple Bar after the parade.

St. Patrick's Day 2014—Dublin, Ireland
St. Patrick's Day 2014

Some here argue that the festivities should be toned down—and binge drinking strongly discouraged—but for now, money seems to speak louder, as Dublin battens down the hatches for another coming storm.

But not everything about Ireland's national celebration is dark and dangerous! The city council always puts on a great program of (mostly free) events beginning a few days before the St. Pocalypse. This year, the family-friendly Paddy Party kicks off on Saturday, March 14.

We'll be around for some of the free activities in the city, but on the Day of Green-ening, we have some special plans—out of town, just like true Dubliners! Wherever you are, celebrate safely!


  1. I only went to the parade in Dublin once in twelve years! And only because my sister came all the way from France, so we had to do it... I'm not a big fan of the parade, I wish it was a bit more traditional ( Irish music and dance for example), but it's just like the carnival... I will go to Drogheda's parade this year, only because the kids are begging to go ;-)


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