It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Every year, the Irish and Irish-at-heart across the globe celebrate this holiday. St. Patrick’s Day originally began in the seventeenth century as a religious feast for the patron saint of Ireland and commemorated the arrival of Christianity to the country. It has now become an international festival. I’ll never forget the time I traveled to Dublin, Ireland to experience the St. Patrick’s Day festival with my mom. I was studying abroad in England, so Ireland was less than an hour flight from the Liverpool airport.
Dublin in my ears: The streets of Dublin rumbled with drum-lining parades, Irish dancing, live music, hot potatoes, Guinness, cheerful locals, and a whole lot of orange and green (except the Guinness). People from all over the world-Germany, China, India, Finland, Holland, America, Canada, Portugal, France, Sweden, Italy, and beyond- flooded the town. I had never been surrounded by so many different cultures in one place at the same time- all to do the same thing- celebrate! But celebrate what? St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin has evolved greatly from its religious feast of the seventeenth century. It’s now a celebration of diversity and the one thing that dissolves boundaries and resonates us all- music! Bands took over the flooded streets of Dublin and gave live performances- in and out of the rain. The echoes of pubs swarmed the outside air with bagpipes, guitars, saxophones, drums, the clashing of shoes bouncing off crackly wooden floors, and a muster of accents from all over the world singing along to classic rock ‘n’ roll music. No matter the song- we all knew the words. Drenched in rainy day musk and doused with Irish stout, St. Patrick’s Day of 2013 was definitely a sight, sound, taste, and smell to remember.
Dublin on a plate: Although the Temple Bar quarter was the best spot for talented live music, I recommend wandering a little off the beaten path for those visiting Dublin. If you get sick of meat and potatoes or “haggis neeps and tatties,” but still want a traditional plate, wander round the cultural-musical-loud-quarter of Temple Bar district and you’ll find a hidden plaza. On Saturdays, other than the overly crowded weekend of St. Patrick’s Day, this would be a great one-stop mecca for foodies who love fresh local produce. Be adventurous and try Hick’s venison sausage, home-baked orange and rum breakfast cake, or some zesty Irish apple juice. Don’t worry, Dublin has all sorts of international restaurants to accommodate travelers, but if you’re looking for more traditional eats, the Temple Bar weekend market is a great place for freshly made options!
Travel writing: If you ever want to visit Dublin for Dublin’s sake instead of St. Patrick’s sake, I do recommend going on a different weekend so that you can enjoy the town without having to fight the crowds. If I could give any advice to anyone traveling, it would be to keep a journal in your pocket and to create a travel blog. It’s the only way you’ll remember the places you’ll visit, what foods you’ll taste, the names of people you’ll meet, recommendations of other travelers and locals, sensory feelings, the excitement you’ll feel upon new surroundings, and the best way to record your thoughts before they merely become a reflection of the past! If the thought of travel writing excites you, check out our 6-week travel-writing course and get inspired for your next vacation! Believe it or not, you can actually turn your travel writing into a career!