One of the most famous and iconic holidays not only in Ireland, but recognised around the world, is St. Patrick’s Day. It is celebrated on 17 March every year and is a popular and religious celebration in commemoration of the patron saint. He died on this day and is remembered for this reason. Born in 387 in Scotland under the name of Maewyn, he was kidnapped by pirates in his childhood and sold into slavery. He later became a shepherd in Ireland, until he managed to flee to France and became a priest. He returned to Ireland, where years later he was made a bishop and would later become a patron saint.
The main celebration takes place in Dublin, with festivities lasting four to five days. But they are also echoed in other cities such as London, Montreal, Chicago and New York, to name a few. In Chicago, for example, they even dye the river green as part of the celebration. People celebrating St. Patrick’s Day wear green and have a great time. The streets are filled with excitement, music, dancing and a phenomenal atmosphere.
St. Patrick’s Day parades and parties
One of the most anticipated St. Patrick’s Day events is undoubtedly the themed parade held in Dublin. The main attractions are the floats, as well as the colourful and colourful costumes. Green reigns supreme in the celebration, as well as the iconic shamrock because St. Patrick used it as a symbol on his clothes. This was because it was an allusion or metaphor for the Holy Trinity.
As a result, his devout followers embraced this ideology and also wore shamrocks on their clothes. As for the characteristic shade of green, it has to do not only with the colour of the shamrock, but also with joy and the change of season. In addition to green clothing, it is very common to be characterised as a leprechaun. This magical being is linked to good luck and abundance, which is why his image proliferates at this time of year.
St. Patrick’s Day 2021
However, due to the current health contingency, this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival will have a different feel. For security reasons, the festival will be held online via a television channel. The festival’s artistic director, Karen Walshe, notes that “this year has been long and grim”. But despite this they wanted to create something that everyone can tune into and that shows so much more.
In this way, the St Patrick’s Day 2021 festival will be full of options for all ages. From a virtual tour of the military archives, to a yoga demonstration for children from the National Gallery. Plus music and a big St Patrick’s night show. It may not be the five days of live events, but it will now have an international scope. This is thanks to today’s technology through St Patrick’s Festival TV (SPFTV). So hundreds of events will be streamed online.
The party continues
Dancing is central to the St Patrick’s Day festivities, especially the céilidh, which is the traditional dance of the Green Isle. It is so deep-rooted and so famous that it is common for competitions to go on for hours. The bagpipes are of course present to accompany Celtic music and it will be impossible not to dance to their rhythm.
And like all good festivities, St. Patrick’s Day is all about food and drink. Traditional dishes include the famous potato bread and lamb. Beer is the iconic drink of the celebration, especially Guinness. And even if it is celebrated at home, the festive spirit will undoubtedly be present in every home.
Virtual St Patrick’s Day 2021
That’s thanks to the organisers of this new virtual festival that will last not four or five, but six days. There is significant funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. They have allocated around €1 million along with a further €400,000 through Fáilte Ireland. This translates into funds for artists, creators, equipment and other related parties. But it also reflects the importance of this festival of Irish culture to the world.
This St. Patrick’s Day will be streamed online for six days, from 9:30 am to 11 pm. It is clear that this is a totally different proposition from other years. But it will be full of fun, educational, healthy, cultural and more activities than ever before. And of course, all the festivity that has always characterised it. Not only will the audience be spectators, but they will also participate in the event. They have been encouraged to make their own parade at home with the hashtag #RTÉVirtualParade. So there is no excuse not to have fun and have a great time this year.