Merriment in Ireland During The Holidays
What better way to appreciate a country better during your vacation than by experiencing its festivals, cultural celebrations and annual events? So, if you’re heading out to Ireland, schedule your vacation during these times so you can have a throng of wonderful memories for your holidays. And maybe, you’ll also make new friends along the way.
The popular Irish Kinvara Cuckoo Fleadh takes please in May, on the weekend of the Bank Holiday. It is timed impeccably to welcome people in the warm pleasant summers of Ireland. It is a musical festival and has a well-established reputation which it rightfully deserves. The festival attracts music artists from all over Ireland, and even beyond the boundaries of Ireland. One of the best things about the festival is that it takes place in one of Ireland’s loveliest towns: the County Galway. You can visit the website at www.kinvara.com for more information.
The yearly music festival, which takes place during 25th June-7th July, lets people bask in the warm Irish sun as they enjoy picnics with their family and friends, while listening to some of the best tunes from the top European classical music artists. Visit their website at www.westcorkmusic.ie for more information.
Listowel Writer’s Week is a democratic and chaotic gathering, which is dedicated to the field of literature. It consists of various workshops by literary greats who will instruct you on how to write your very own masterpiece. Discussions can go on until dawn, so be prepared. It takes place on June’s first weekend, all over Listowel. If you fancy meeting literary greats such as Roddy Doyle, Neil Jordan, ColmTóbin, Anne Enright, and Lawrence Block, and many others, then here is your chance. Visit the website at www.writersweek.ie for more information.
The Midsummer Festival combines film, theatre, and music, and all things of art in the city of Cork. The festival takes place every year in June, from the 21st to the month’s end. The Corcadorca Theatre Company picks unusual locations for its activities; they once took Shakespeare to the city morgue, once to Fitzgerald’s Park’s expansive and lush green spaces, and once to the local courthouse. Every activity the company plans is a different experience so make it a point to buy tickets for their shows, no matter what it is. Visit the website at www.corkmidsummer.com for more details.
This festival takes place on the 16th of June and it is believed that more than the Irish, the Japanese and Americans attend the gatherings that happen around Bloomsday. However, that has not stopped the festival from taking place; it keeps on growing. If they speak honestly, most of the Irish people will admit that they have never actually finished Ulysses; but, they will still happily discuss the happenings and the concealed meanings in this great work. Visit the website at www.jamesjoyce.ie for more details. 10
Days in Dublin
This fledgling festival includes around a hundred acts in over twenty five different places, all across Dublin. The festival shows off some of the best film, theatre, spoken word, visual art, comedy, and music for consecutive ten days in July. In 2012, the festival showed the performance of Trinity Orchestra on Dark Side of the Moon, DonalDineen, Matthew Halpin Trio and the Cold Dead Hands of Patrick Kelleher. The tickets cost ten euros or less. Visit the website at www.10daysindublin.ie.
Galway Race Week
It is one of Ireland’s biggest events. And most of Cork, Limerick, and Dublin camp in the City of the Tribes for a celebration that is centered on pub sessions and excellent horses. The festival takes place on a weekend in July and every politician races towards this festival, followed by crows of supporters, and many others who are interested in the ‘craic’, which is the Irish warmth and merriment. Visit the website at www.galwayraces.com for more information.
Located in the county of Mayo, Croagh Patrick is an eerie hill with loose stones, which is climbed by thousands of adventurers and pilgrims alike to purge their souls of all their bad deeds. It is a barefoot climb and takes place on July’s last Sunday. Although it is a tricky and probably painful climb (due to walking barefoot on stones), the experience is truly rewarding; not only for soul, but also good for the sole.
Dating back to the times of the pagans, this is the country’s oldest festival, and takes place in Kerry. The festival involves making a goat a king for three days, while the people indulge in dancing and drinking. During this festival, pubs are open throughout the night, travelers sell their cows and horses on the Main Street, and about a hundred thousand people fill up this little town, consisting of less than 60 pubs. It is a mad weekend of three days that takes place in August’s second week. It is the most unusual festival of the Irish.
Meaning the Gathering of the Boats, it is a festival that consists of a lot of booze. The festival is meant to celebrate the beautiful and unique boat of Galway Hooker. It is a dark sailing boat with old sails in red that was basically used for the transportation of turf, as well as other things, along Ireland’s harsh coastline. The festival takes place on August’s third weekend in southern County Galway. The festival is accompanied by traditional boat races, just for the sake of partying involving late nights and music.
All-Ireland Hurling Final
It usually takes place on September’s first Sunday at Dublin’s Croke Park. It is a sporting scene that is uniquely Irish. It consists of 30 players who use ash hurleys to hit a heavy ball made of leather, or sliothar, at very high speeds. The festival combines vibrant colours and raw emotion, and skills that one will not see elsewhere, therefore, making your trip very memorable.
Kinsale Gourmet Festival
Probably one of the most interesting festivals is the Kinsale Gourmet Festival, which consists of scrumptious food. The festival is noted for its innovative cuisine. The event takes place on October’s second weekend, and revolves around the pursuit of wine and food. The coastal town provides excitement in the form of a breakfast on board, or a lunch on the coast, or a dinner in any one of the splendid restaurants in this friendly and charming town. Visit the website at www.kinsalerestaurants.com for further information.
Cork Jazz Festival
Taking place on October’s Halloween bank holiday weekend, the Cork Jazz Festival is a great event for lovers of jazz. It is perfectly timed to welcome the winter season. One of the legendary musicians, George Melly, visits the even regularly and states that ‘I forget where I’ve parked, where I’m meant to be playing, and, sometimes, even who I am – but it all works out in the end.” His words describe the festival very clearly; you just get lost in the sound of the jazz, without worrying about anything else. Visit the website at www.guinnessjazzfestival.com for more information.