The Irish are famous for knowing how to throw a party.
That is never more evident than at the St Patrick’s festival in Dublin, which has come to rival the great carnivals of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Notting Hill in London.
The first modern day St Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin was in 1996. The Irish Government wanted to use the day to celebrate the culture of the country and hoped to create a celebration that would rival the great festivals throughout the world.
They wanted to show the world how creative, professional and sophisticated Ireland could be and invited people, with or without Irish descent, from all countries to join in their celebrations.
They certainly achieved their goal, while the first festival lasted just one day, it proved to be such a hit that the following year it was extended to a three-day event. It continued to grow and by 2009, the festival lasted five days and attracted over a million people.
The celebrations last for several days and the streets are flooded with people from all over the world who have come to enjoy the carnival atmosphere. There are thousands of performances throughout the week including street theatre, dancing and, of course, Irish music.
There are parades, funfairs, food and beer stalls and numerous events taking place. During the festival the city goes green, and not just the revellers’ clothing. As night starts to fall, the most famous buildings in Dublin are illuminated in green to celebrate the festival.