Today is an especially Irish day for everyone around the world. In case you didn’t see the title of this post, or read my post yesterday, or have never had any human interaction before, today is St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland (despite not actually being Irish) because he brought Christianity to the Irish in the 5th century A.D. The holiday holds a lot of significance for the Irish, especially for national identity. Yes, there’s also a lot of alcohol involved, but that’s more the hundreds of thousands of tourists that flock to Dublin than it is the Irish doing anything different than their normal culture.
We started off the day getting decked out in our finest green attire, and donning face paint (and in some cases hair dye), then venturing into the city to stake out a spot for the parade. The parade started at noon at Parnell Square, and since we left Sandymount at 9:30, we had no problem finding an area in the median of O’Connell Street. We ended up playing cards to kill time, and noticed that a lot of people stopping to take our picture.
The parade itself was definitely interesting. I think the closest thing I’ve ever seen to it in the States was the Millennium Celebration parade in Disney World in 2000. There were a lot of really artistic looking costumes and giant puppets powered by bicycles and crazy sounding music accompanied by crazy looking dances. There were a couple marching bands (one from North Carolina played Sweet Caroline, much to the chagrin of anyone within earshot of us), but it wasn’t like the Fourth of July parades with Boy Scout troupes and local businesses marching down the street with their paper-mâché floats tossing out candy and beads.
After the parade, Anders, Kelsey, Libby, Matt, Mo, Rob, and I walked up to Croke Park, where we saw another GAA hurling and Gaelic football double header. Both matches were “minor league” games, though the hurling match was the league championship between Kilkenny and Galway (Galway won), and the football match was still extremely entertaining. We were a little disappointed Jedward didn’t perform between matches like they did at the last double header we attended, but we still managed to have a good time.
We had planned to meet up with Ashley and Danielle after the matches at Tara Street so we could catch a 6:30 bus to Johnnie Fox’s, a famous pub in Glencullen. Fox’s is known for it’s traditional Irish music, award winning seafood, and for being the highest pub in Ireland. Anders, Kelsey, Libby, and I made our way down to Tara, found Ashley, Danielle, and Ashley’s friend Lee, and made it to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, we still somehow missed the bus. Since the bus would have cost us €10 round-trip, we figured it was probably for the better, and decided to go back into Sandymount and hang out at Ryan’s.
Overall, I’d say St. Paddy’s Day was an enormous success, and as the Irish would say, a whole lot of craic.