People from all over the world like to go to festivals in Ireland because they know that, especially at festival time, Ireland is one of the friendliest countries you could ever wish to spend time in. Let’s face it, Ireland is renown as being a truly beautiful country with incredibly hospitable people; people who know how to party. The genuine sense of fun and fellowship that the Irish possess means that they have concocted festivals to cover just about any circumstance – and they like nothing better than to have others share the ‘craic’ with them.
So, festivals that have been flourishing for many years have now become a vital part of Irish cultural tourism, giving visitors – as well as locals – the chance to experience the magic of Irish life. With its fascinating history, beguiling mythology, powerful traditions and vibrant contemporary culture, Ireland can provide festivals of music, dance, arts and theatre that will entice and entertain travellers no matter what time of the year they decide to pay a visit to ‘the Emerald Isle’.
Many people, of course, enjoy visiting Ireland in the middle of March to enable them to enjoy the St Patrick’s Day celebrations on the 17th of that month. Dublin has inevitably been the centre of these festivities but St Patrick’s Day celebrations are amongst the biggest in the year for many other cities throughout the country.
Ireland is universally known for the appealing quality of its traditional music and dance and, throughout the year, you’ll be able to find hundreds of opportunities of enjoying these at festivals across the country. The culmination of these long established local contests is the August Fleadh Cheoil, a gathering that annually attracts around a quarter of a million visitors to see singing, dancing, playing, parades and some of the very best ceildhs you could ever contemplate.
Lovers of more international music are catered for in some of the country’s regional capitals – with festivals devoted to opera, dance and, now one of the largest pop and rock festivals in Europe, the Oxegen festival at Punchestown Racecourse.
The captivating city of Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, is an alluring venue for visitors, with some fine restaurants, historic locations and incredible coastal and mountain scenery all easily within reach. It is fast becoming Ireland’s cultural jewel, with a number of exceptionally welcoming festivals such as the Arts Festival and the International Oyster Festival. The legendary Galway Races can provide you with another excellent excuse to take a trip to this beguilingly beautiful region.
Every corner of Ireland will hold some hidden festival to surprise and delight visitors to the country. They might not all be as crazily eccentric as the completely unique Puck Fair, but there are hundreds from which to choose and they all perfectly illustrate why festivals in Ireland are such a compelling prospect.