Seventy million people worldwide claim Irish heritage and the St. Patrick's Festival is their opportunity to celebrate Ireland. The Feast of St. Patrick is now celebrated in nearly every country throughout the world where Irish descendents or influence have continued to reinforce its popularity. Among the countries with strong traditions of celebrating St. Patrick's Day are obviously the United States, Canada and Australia, but also less obviously France, Argentina, Russia, Japan and even the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
The entire world is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but nobody does it quite like the Irish at home in Ireland, where it’s so great, we need five days to celebrate! So while the rest of the world are tucking in to corned beef and cabbage, Irish Stew or Guinness, those in Ireland will be enjoying a veritable feast of street theatre, music, dance, carnivals, fireworks, food, treasure hunts, film… oh, and a small little parade that will snake its way through the city centre to the delight of hundreds of thousands of Irish, 'new Irish' and tourists alike!
Highlights of the Festival this year include the explosive Skyfest - an awe-inspiring display of fireworks, lighting effects on the site of the port town of Waterford.
The jewel in the Festival crown is the St. Patrick's Festival Parade in Dublin. This year it features newly commissioned, highly original and inventive street theatre troupes, artists, giant puppetry, dancers and marching bands from Ireland and across the globe.
Also not to be missed is the rambunctious fun of the C