Saint Patrick’s day is a national holiday in Ireland, and it is probably one of the biggest day on the cultural calendar. It is celebrated on the 17th of March each year, but the day is also is honoured in others country such as America, Canada, Britain, primarily because of the Irish migration over the years to those countries around the world.
It is said that the holiday memorialises the life of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who protected and blessed the island more than 1000 years ago.
This year is the first time that I have celebrated Saint Patrick’s day ever in my whole life, so I was happy to have been able to do this in Ireland. The atmosphere in the city of Dublin was infectious as people gathered together to wear green, and watch the parade. All the shops, restaurants, and shopping centres were painted and decorated with the same typical colour: Green. Some famous souvenir shops also sold some green souvenirs such as green glasses, the Irish flag, greens hat, and hair
A few days before the festival, there are a lot of tourists who come from around the world to visit Dublin. They may, for example, come from Asian or European countries. Therefore, flights into Dublin as well as the availability of accommodation became an increasing issue. According to Skyscanner, the price of an airplane ticket to Dublin was around 200 – 250 euro from March 15 – March 28. In addition to the high price of a ticket, it was quite difficult to find a single room, or even shared-accommodation during this period.
On the 17th, I woke up early in the morning, because. I was so eager to experience this holiday for myself, and to join in one of the biggest traditional holidays of Ireland. After dressing up in a green costume – green hat and had my face painted with a clover, I was ready. I took the bus to Griffith College, because there was no bus to the city centre. There was a large crowd of people who had gathered and stood in front of the Christ Church Cathedral. They were all dressed in green-coloured items, and were waiting for the traditional parade on the street to begin.
The parade began at 12 pm; the first performance was the loyalty parade. Each show was presented by individual organisations, each party of Ireland, or stories. Some famous animation films such “Up”, “Angry Birds”, “The Little Mermaid”, were also screening. Like most other overseas tourists, I was impressed by the Saint Patrick’s festival. I believe that all the people came out to celebrate for this day. Surely no one was left at home. The colour green was seen absolutely everywhere.
28 year old Nadia Barriuso, a student at Griffith College Dublin said “Mmmmm it was nice, especially because everybody was wearing green clothes and Irish flags. But the party is not so good. Too crowded. Pubs were full of people. Long queues to enter to pubs and discos. There are a lot of tourists. Most of them are completely drunk. I was expecting more”.
Saint Patrick’s Day reminds me a lot about Viet Nam’s “Tet” Lunar New Year Holiday, which is the biggest, the most culturally and religiously significant holiday in Viet Nam. This is the start of the new lunar calendar for the new year, and is usually begins at some point in mid-February. Although “Tet” only lasts for three days, people often spend a month to enjoy this special event. It’s like Christmas and New Year in the western world. On these days, people often wear a red or yellow costume as it a mark of luck and wealth. They also give red envelopes with money inside for good fortune for the coming year.