The most important celebration in Ireland

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jul 14, 2012

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Flag of Ireland  , County Clare,
Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paddy's day is, I think, the most important day of the year for any Irish. A Saturday afternoon in March, I realized when accompanying a friend of mine (François) who wanted to surf at Lahinch (apparently one ore even the best spot for surf in Ireland) that it is celebrated even in the smallest villages of Ireland. To reach Lahinch from Galway, we went through Lisdoonvarna, a village of country Clare. When we crossed this village, we were surprised because there was a lot of people in the main street and it was one week before Paddy’s day. But there was more than lot of people in the street as a convoy was also arriving so we had to stop the car. We got out of it and joined the people in the street and watch all this convoy of tractors and cars all decorated with Irish colors. Most of those vehicles were towing trailers with on it lot of people celebrating Paddy’s Day (we realized it at this moment). It is weird and I even now I don’t know why people were celebrating in this village Paddy’s day one week before the real date. But it was good as I could see this event both celebrated in that village and one week later (at the real date) in a bigger city, Galway (I included some pictures of Galway celebration in this entry). I realized by living those two moments both in Lisdoonvarna and Galway that Irish people are very proud of their country and they really like to show it. Everybody is in the street, in every village, to celebrate Paddy’s day. All the association (sports, art, community…) of the village or town are parading in a friendly atmosphere and the parade is long (in Galway, it lasted nearly two hours).

It is for sure known that people are drinking a lot during all this day (and night), and I enjoyed that in Galway :-) but it is not only matter of drinking and the parade is proving that (even if in Galway the parade was planned the morning, maybe because the organizers know that main people are in the pubs during the afternoon). After the parade, I was with friends in the pub and the atmosphere all the afternoon and night was great. It was really good craic, as Irish use to say !!

But I have to come back to Lisdoonvarna. After the parade there was over, we went with my friend to Lahinch and I took the advantage of the fact that he was surfing to take some pictures of Lahinch and its surroundings. The weather was really Irish but I was happy of this day because it was the first time I leave Galway. I did not have the car in Ireland so it was not easy to leave Galway and at this period of the year the weather is generally not motivating you to go in the country side. But this day I was motivated!!
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