The best Irish festivals for watch out for

St Patrick's Festival, Dublin, photo by William Murphy

Ireland is the land of craic, and while craic is most often to be had at a night-out in the pub with your mates, there are other occasions where the famous Irish propensity for fun is in deployed. Irish festivals are more often that not a great opportunity for socializing, having a pint in-between festival activities, and of course, to get a glimpse into the cultural life of Ireland. From artistic and music festivals to festivals that are organized just for the fun of it, there are a lot of events that a traveler to Ireland can attend. Here are some of the best Irish festivals to watch out for.

Saint Patrick’s Day

The celebration in honor of Ireland’s most famous saint has some strong religious roots, but most St Patrick parades are just an excuse to showcase the cultural variety of the country. While St Patrick’s parades are common everywhere in the world where there’s an Irish community, the best parades are of course held in Ireland. Head to Dublin, Cork or Galway in February and enjoy the dizzy swirl of colors and street celebrations with strangers.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Lisdoovarna, photo by Trish Steel

September is matchmaking season in Ireland, and this interesting rural tradition comes to a peak at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, in the small town in Lisdoovarna in Co Clare. The festival started out as a necessity for singles in the rural area, but today it is an occasion to have a bit of craic.

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann

Even if you’ve had the chance to attend a performance of traditional Irish music in a pub, you still won’t be prepared for the onslaught of traditional music from every part of the country that happens every years in the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann festival. The festival takes the form of a competition, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun cheering for your favorites.

Killorglin Puck Fair

Killorglin Puck, photo by Irish Fireside

The picture-perfect village of Killorglin is home to the famous statue of the Killorglin Puck, and also the boisterous Puck Fair held every august. This festival used to be a pagan tradition of crowning a goat as the king of Killorglin. The festival has pageants, music, entertainment and a lot of beer.

Rose of Tralee

This old-fashioned beauty pageant is one of those events that is so saccharine sweet that few people confess to watching it, however, if that crowds that gather in Tralee to elect the fairest of the all are any indication, the Rose of Tralee is very popular indeed. The contestants don’t only have to be pretty, but also the embodiment of Irishness, and everything takes place in an atmosphere of general merriness, so of curse this is one of the best Irish festivals to watch out for.


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