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St. Patrick’s Day 2023 is once again shaping up to be an exciting celebration of all things Irish.
Such is the popularity of our national holiday that the celebrations now spill over into the days before and after the 17th March, making it a full scale festival. In fact, with the 17th March falling on a Friday this year most people will probably make a long weekend of it and take the Monday as well!
Here in Ireland, the 17th is a national holiday so we all get the day off.
As always, we’re spoiled for choice this St. Patrick’s Day, so I’ve put together a list of some of my own favourite picks featuring the very best in Irish music, song and dance.
Global St Patrick’s Day Parades
Our iconic national parade takes place in Dublin City Centre on the 17th at 12 midday.
We will welcome floats and marching bands from all over Ireland and a little further afield, with musicians traveling from New York, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Scotland and Germany.
There will also be large-scale parades taking place in Ireland’s other major cities including Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Kilkenny.
As always, if you can’t attend the parade in person, RTÉ (Ireland’s national broadcaster) has you covered. The Dublin parade will be broadcast on RTÉ1 and can also be viewed online using the RTÉ Player.
Of course, the major global parades are also taking place around the world this year, though some of the dates may vary. But you can get your fill of St. Patrick’s day splendour in the following cities:
- London, UK – Sunday 12th March
- Munich, Germany – Sunday 12th March (Munich is home to one of Europe’s largest Paddy’s Day festivals outside of Ireland)
- Madrid, Spain – Saturday 18th March (for the very first time!)
- Chicago, USA – Saturday 11th March
- San Francisco, USA – Saturday 11th March
- Houston, Texas, USA – Saturday 11th March
- Philadelphia, USA – Sunday 12th March
- Dublin, Ohio, USA – Saturday 11th March
- New York, USA – Friday 17th March
- Savannah, Georgia, USA – Friday 17th March
- Boston, USA – Sunday 19th March
- Montréal, Canada – Sunday 19th March
- Toronto, Canada – Sunday 19th March
- Buenos Aires, Argentina – Friday 17th March
Australia (back with a bang for 2023!)
- Perth, Australia – Saturday 18th March
- Sydney, Australia – Sunday 19th March
- Melbourne, Australia – Saturday 18th March (new for 2023)
- Dubai, UAE – Friday 18th March tbc
St. Patrick’s Day Festival Ireland
As always there’s plenty of events to choose from at the Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival!
From 12pm on Friday 17 March, St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter will be a hive of events, happenings, music, song and dance for people of all ages as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style. Join us on the Main stage for the hugely popular Céilí Mór, featuring The Shandrum Céili Band plus Féile na Gealaí, Japanese Taiko Drummers, Traditional Irish Dancers, Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, storytelling from Candlelit Tales and the Fingal Mummers, music from Imlé and Llareggub from Wales, supported by the Welsh Government in Ireland and lots more.
Dance The Night Away – Main Stage @ Festival Quarter
If like me, these past few years have left you feeling a little more sluggish than usual, why not blow off the cobwebs with An Céilí Mór?
Kicking off after the parade on Friday 17th March at National Museum, Collins Barracks, this outdoor super céilí will feature music from the mighty Shandrum Céilí Band.
Whether you’ve two left feet, or you could rival Michael Flatley himself, grab your dancing shoes and dance those blues away:
More and more cities across the country are expanding their St. Patrick’s Day festivals. What began as a small local parade all those years ago has now evolved into weeklong celebrations.
Held in conjunction with Kilkenny TradFest, it’s no surprise that Kilkenny’s St. Patrick’s festival is shaping up to be a brilliant programme of events.
Reel to Reel on the Festival Stage
Reel to Reel was formed in Kilkenny over 30 years ago comprising of some of the original members and some fresh new talent. The band comprises uilleann pipes, bass guitar, piano, bouzouki, drums, double bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, accordion, fiddle and vocals.
Playing a wide array of genres including Irish Traditional tunes, a mixture of ballads and traditional music infused with rock, Reel to Reel has always pushed the boundaries and added the best of national and international Irish Trad.
The event will take place on Friday 17th March 2023 from 4pm on the Festival Stage/
In addition to the St. Patrick’s Day parade taking place on Friday 18th March, Belfast has planned an exciting ‘St. Patrick’s Eve’ concert taking place Thursday, 16 Mar 2023 5:00 – 8:00pm
Headlining the event will be award-winning Dublin singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, who has captivated audiences across the world with her mesmerizing vocals and soulful folk-pop sound.
Also on the bill are Trad supergroup Jiggy, mixing Irish traditional music, world rhythms and cutting-edge dance grooves, and singer-songwriter David Keenan.
St. Patrick’s Day Festival UK
London St. Patrick’s Day Festival
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in London usually rival our own back home in Ireland and this year is no exception.
The St. Patrick’s Festival will return to Trafalgar Square on Sunday 12th March, with an amazing lineup of Irish performers taking to the main stage from 12pm to 6pm including Sharon Shannon & Band, Celtic Youth Orchestra, Roxanna Nic Liam, and many more – all free!
This year will also see the return of the iconic parade, in its 20th year, beginning at 12pm at Green Park and making its way to the festivities at Trafalgar Square.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations at the London Irish Centre
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day itself – Friday 17th March – make your way to the St Patrick’s Day Céilí. No prior céilí experience needed – just don’t overdo it!
Global St. Patrick’s Day Events*
Montserrat, West Indies
The tiny Caribbean volcanic island of Montserrat is the only country besides Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday, but not for the reason you might think. This March 17th marks the 252nd anniversary of an unsuccessful slave revolt against the European whites who colonised it in the 17th century. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by a nine day festival of independence.
This will have a quintessentially Caribbean flair but no doubt there will be drowning of the shamrock aplenty!
*More events will be added as final details are confirmed
We’ll keep updating with events throughout the week as the Saint Patrick’s Day Festival progresses, so make sure to check back in with us to see what other events make our list!
To get session-ready for the big day browse our full range of traditional Irish musical instruments for sale and order now.
Can’t wait for the 17th?? Start the party now with the McNeela Traditional Irish Music Paddy’s Day Playlist:
[Images: Featured Image via St. Patrick’s Day Festival Ireland Official Facebook Page]