Your guide to the 2024 Dublin St. Patrick’s Day

James

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St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th is celebrated by millions worldwide, regardless of their Irish heritage. Major cities with significant Irish populations, like Chicago, Buenos Aires, Sydney, and Vancouver, hold festive events open to all.

There’s no finer spot to relish Ireland’s national day than in Dublin. The city offers a four-day party from March 15 to March 18, brimming with vibrant parades, family events, and night entertainment that lasts until dawn.

St. Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day is a lively, colourful celebration of Ireland’s patron saint. This national holiday is a chance for everyone to express their Irish pride. The festivities include traditional Irish music, dance parties known as cèilidh, costumes, comedy shows, and lots of fun at the pub. It’s a celebration you won’t forget.

Dublin is the heart of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland. Although it doesn’t turn the River Liffey green like Chicago does with its river, you’ll still see a lot of green shamrocks. It’s said that St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to explain Christianity when he first brought the religion to Ireland. That’s why it’s a popular symbol, not the four-leaf clover which is often confused with it.

An excellent way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin is to mix with the locals on the streets. You’ll find the true Irish spirit in the friendly interactions and busy pubs brimming with people ready for a good time.

The parade

Get ready for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, which begins on Sunday, March 17th, 2024. A huge crowd of over 500,000 people is expected. The amazing parade will include more than 4000 participants and feature bands from all over Ireland, North America, and beyond.

There’ll be talented pageant groups and breathtaking showpiece acts. The theme in 2024 is the Irish word ‘Spréach’, meaning ‘Spark’. Get set to celebrate!

This year, for the first time, the parade will have a unique “Relaxed Parade Space” at College Green. This is especially true for people who are neurodivergent or have sensitivity to sensory inputs. With different sound zones for low, medium, or full noise levels, this area also ensures wheelchair accessibility. This way, everyone can comfortably enjoy the parade.

The festival

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is just the main event within the broader festival. This festivity, which celebrates Irish art, society, and traditions, will host a ‘Festival Quarter’ at the National Museum of Ireland, from March 16 to 18. You can join daytime activities for free, but nightly events are ticketed and exclusively for adults after 6 pm.

The festival offers many ways to enjoy Irish culture, with an outdoor stage, storytelling Yurt, funfair, and a village selling Irish food and crafts. The line-up includes artists such as Denise Chaila, Celaviedmai, Holly Munro, Mariachi San Patricio, and the Mother DJs. There will also be numerous live events and club nights throughout Dublin, as well as engaging talks.

One such talk, hosted by author Emma Dabiri and activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, explores the influence Ireland’s independence struggle had on Harlem civil rights activist Marcus Garvey. Make sure to catch Wake, a vibrant theatre performance that merges live music, dance, circus acts, aerial performances, drag shows, Irish traditional music, and spoken word.

Pubs to visit

Temple Bar is one of Dublin’s most iconic and historical districts. However, locals often avoid it due to inflated prices and crowded bars. A walk through Temple Bar is a must-do for any Dublin visitor, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Expect to encounter masses of revelers. If crowds aren’t your thing, continue to quieter pubs scattered around the city.

If you’re looking for a laid-back experience, check out The Stag’s Head for traditional music sessions or mingle with the crowd near Kehoe’s. The Long Hall, which is over 250 years old, is another ideal location to grab a drink.

Don’t miss out on the well-known street-side ham and cheese toasties at Grogan’s, if you can find a spot. However, you should be prepared for a large, lively crowd in most bars in the city center over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

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