Posted by simon On March - 19 - 2013

Heading to Dublin for the St Patrick’s Day? As they say ‘the craic is mighty!’ but if you’re not familiar with Dublin then you may feel at a loss as to what to do while you’re there. Well, don’t worry as there will be hundreds of events on across the city and every nook and cranny with be stuffed full of festive fun. Here are five top things to do in Dublin that will ensure you experience Ireland to its fullest.

See a wrestling match

Wrestling is a popular sport in Ireland, branching off from boxing and taking certain cues from American wrestling. A recent boost for Irish wrestling was the signing of Joey Cabray and Rachel Walker to WWE, following in the footsteps of the already very successful Irish wrestler Sheamus. If you’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Dublin watching a wrestling match will give you quite an insight into the culture of the country, immersing yourself into the entertainment that these Irish stars excel in. Take a wrestling class at one of the top class wrestling schools in Dublin such as Main Stage Wrestling. You never know you may discover a new hobby.

irish-wrestling

Photo Credit: Muerte SIXFU via Compfight cc

Watch the parade

The parade in Dublin is brilliant; full of colourful floats, bands, performers and community groups marching together all emanating positive energy. Dublin, as the home of St Patrick’s Day, makes sure its parade impresses. You really see the mark of the Irish in the creativity of the floats, costumes and banners which all come together to provide a very authentic experience.

The parade starts at 12pm in Parnell Square, north of the river, turning onto O’Connell Street and winds its way over O’Connell Bridge, past Trinity College and through the streets behind Dublin’s famous Temple bar.

Join a ceili

A ceili is an Irish form of dancing in a group. There are many different dances involving sets or pairs which require particular moves from the dancers so that everyone moves in unison. Often the MC will call out the steps so you don’t have to know the dances to join in. The crowds at ceilis are always lively and jovial, never taking it too seriously and happy to involve experts and newbies alike. Attending a ceili will also afford you the opportunity to hear some traditional Irish music. Even if you don’t join the dancing yourself the music will certainly get you in high spirits. There is a mass outdoor ceili being held in St Stephen’s Green on Friday 15th but if you miss out on that then don’t worry there are several private venues hosting dances on Sunday. The Church restaurant and venue on Jervis St promise live music and Irish dancing at weekend long along with an opportunity to pour your own pint.

Watch a game of hurling

On St Patrick’s Day there is also another important Irish event; the hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship finals between Offaly and Galway. Every year both the hurling and Gaelic football championship finals are held in Croke Park stadium in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day. Hurling is such an unusual game to watch, sometimes compared to lacrosse or hockey but in reality resembles neither very closely.

Players each have a wide curved stick (a hurl) and move the ball (a sliotar) around the field by hitting long distances over the other players’ heads. Most players wear helmets due to the frequency that either a hurl or sliotar makes contacts with a players head. It is an extremely fast paced game and very enjoyable to watch.

The popularity of hurling in Ireland means that the game will be widely televised so if you don’t have a ticket for Sunday’s match already then get yourself to a pub and watch it with all the locals. Kick-off is at 2pm so get a space in the pub early. The excitement of hurling generates an electric atmosphere that is hard to match in any other sport so it’s sure to get your St Patrick’s Day celebrations off to a great start.

Eat Irish food

It almost goes without saying that any visitor to Dublin on Patrick’s Day weekend with sample a pint of the black stuff (if this hadn’t occurred to you then add it to your list) however many will survive on a diet of takeaways and leave Dublin never having tried any of their world renown cuisine. Irish is known for many food not least its excellent breads and cheeses. If you’re in the capital for the weekend then head to Temple bar on Saturday for the food market which is on between 10am and 4pm. If you’re crafty you may be able to score lunch just grazing on the samples at every stall but once you’ve tasted the beautiful oysters fresh from the Atlantic Ocean you’ll be hard pressed not to indulge in a full portion.

Dublin 2010 St Patricks Day Parade - Spraoi by...

Dublin 2010 St Patricks Day Parade – Spraoi by infomatique (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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