From goat coronations to Saint Patrick – some things are just uniquely Irish
Give it up for a good festival
The Irish love festivals, and while some of them scale literary heights, others are just plain unique. Take Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry – where else in the world would you get a fair that celebrates the coronation of a goat? Other utterly unique festivals include the much-loved Rose of Tralee, a pageant that attracts “roses” from across the globe for a fabulous week of fun and frolics! The Tullamore Phoenix Festival – Ireland’s largest growing festival – which offers an incredible line-up, including hot air ballooning, bungee-jumping and a fire parade. And make sure not to miss the Ardara Match Making Festival, a weekend of music, dancing and old-school matchmaking; and the Bard of Armagh Festival of Humourous Verse, where budding bards create hilarious masterpieces!
Vibrant events from tapestry to ploughing
The National Ploughing Championships offer a real chance to experience Irish rural life with a great line-up of agricultural entertainment! For something really different, head to the town of New Ross, County Wexford , to check out the Ros Tapestry 800 Expo – 15 newly created tapestries celebrating the origins of one of Ireland’s most intriguing medieval towns.
How St Patrick’s Day became five
No longer just a day, St Patrick’s ‘Day’ is now a massive international Festival spanning five days with music, street theatre, comedy, dance, funfairs and dazzling fireworks displays. Over a million people enjoy the event with over 4,000 performers from around the world participating. Now we don’t care if it rains on our parade – we’re having too much fun.
School’s in for summer
The Irish thirst for knowledge knows no bounds, which is why summer schools are so popular. Eager students from all over the world flock to the hugely popular Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, to broaden their knowledge of one of the 20th century’s most popular poets, WB Yeats. The McGlinchey Summer School in Inishowen has a different flavour and celebrates the skills practiced by Irish farmers throughout the years, including ploughing, thrashing and winning turf.
Calling all bodhrán players!
If you don’t know what the bodhrán is then the best place to go is Milltown, County Kerry. One of Ireland’s most unique cultural and musical experiences, the World Bodhrán Championships centre around the galloping sounds of the bodhrán with a rich festival that celebrates the best of traditional Irish music, dance and song.