Always looking for a good excuse to have a festival, the Irish know how to celebrate everything from literary pursuits to a love of oysters. If Ireland's on your list for next year stop by a few and have the time of your life!
The most famous of course is St Patricks Day and around March 17, the country turns a shade of green for a host of festivals... from the Saint’s hallowed burial place in Downpatrick to the more carnival atmosphere of parades and exceptional fireworks in Dublin and Belfast.
The Galway Races, the Rose of Tralee Festival, Puck Fair in Killorglin, and the Oul’ Lammas Fair in Ballycastle are also world famous and offer entertainment and laughs with the locals.
Food festivals are a big draw in Ireland with quality local produce scoring high among international foodies. Head to the famous Oyster festivals in Clarenbridge in Galway, or Hillsborough, County Down.
Tune in to a spot of music with the Open House Festival in Belfast, the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera, or the Féile an Phobail in west Belfast or grab a pint and simply tap your feet to cool tunes at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.
On the other hand if you prefer more intimate celebrations try the Harp festivals in Roscommon, a small country town.
Thespians should head to Dublin for both the Dublin Theatre Festival and the excellent Dublin Fringe Festival, with exciting performances taking place in fabulous venues.
With the Irish loving a story it's no wonder this land has produced many renowned writers. Head to Dublin in June for the intriguing Bloomsday Festival, where fans of Joyce’s Gargantuan Ulysses dress up in traditional gear and scoff old Dublin food like “nutty gizzards” and “urine-soaked kidneys”. Alternatively, seek out the delights of the Aspects Literature Festival in Bangor in September, an annual celebration of Irish literature with lectures, discussion and music.
For something a little different, try the Magnus Barelegs Festival in Downpatrick offering a slice of Viking life, or the Eagle Wing Festival in Groomsport, County Down, which celebrates Ireland’s cultural links with America.
For more details go to: http://www.irishtourism.com/must-see-attractions-in-ireland/festivalsin-ireland/1225
To plan your travel itinerary contact Anne Van Dyke: www.annevandyke.com
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