St Patricks Day Mystery

St Patricks Day Mystery

Question - When is St Patrick's Day this year?

If you said, March 17th, like it always is Seamus, you amadán - you'd be technically wrong.

Officially - well according to the Catholic Church anyway, St Patrick's Day 2008 has been moved to March 15th to avoid the second day of Holy Week. However you'll be pleased to know that this won't affect the usual festivities and the 17th is still a national holiday in Ireland.

The feast day is occasionally moved by the church authorities whenever it falls in Holy Week. The last time this happened was in 1940 when St Patrick's Day was moved all the way back to April 2nd to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday. Thankfully the next time it is due to move isn't until the year 2160 - by that time they'll be celebrating St Patrick's Day as far a field as the Horsehead Nebula no doubt!

Meanwhile for 2008 in Ireland, St Patrick's Day will be celebrated in the same way, despite the date change, with the St Patrick's Festival in Dublin from Thursday March 13th to Monday March 17th. The five-day spectacular will feature a combination of street theatre, fireworks, outdoor spectacles, visual arts, music, comedy, dance, funfairs and plenty of craic!

The Festival will culminate in the world famous St. Patrick's Festival Parade, which will snake its way through Dublin City Centre on March 17th. A total of 16 marching bands will take part in this year's parade with a strong American contingent joined by bands representing Japan and Italy as well as the Irish of course.

One of the highlights of this year's festival events is the amazing outdoor spectacle of Pearl at Dublin's Docklands. An event for all the family, Pearl will be performed by the internationally renowned French street theatre company, Plasticiens Volants. The spectacle will involve giant inflatable puppets outlining the enchanting story of the precarious journey of a precious pearl. This is the biggest inflatable performance event ever to be seen in Ireland and promises to be an unmissable experience.

Outside Dublin, the Skyfest at Cashel, Co. Tipperary is another one not to be missed. This spectacular event of fireworks, pyrotechnics, lights and music will celebrate the spirit of the St Patrick's Day Festival against the majestic backdrop of the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland's most important ancient landmarks.

Cities, towns and villages throughout Ireland hold their own St Patrick's Day events and parades, which will still be on the 17th this year and you'll find shamrocks and Irish Tricolours across the country.

St Patrick's Day is one of Ireland's most successful exports and is celebrated in Argentina, where in Buenos Aires they wear green on the 17th March. In Canada, the longest running St Patrick's Day parade in the world, held continuously since 1824, takes place in Montreal. In England St Patrick's Day Parades are held in London, Manchester and Birmingham. Events are also held in Munich, Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark, in Moscow and on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean.

The biggest St Patrick's Day celebrations around the world are held in the United States, with Boston and New York, renowned hubs of Irish descendants, holding the oldest and the biggest festivals. But there is nowhere quite like Ireland to celebrate the nation's patron saint with ‘Paddy's People' themselves.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland contact one of our vacation specialists.

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