Are you one of the lucky few who will be in Ireland when St Patrick’s Day is upon us? If so, you’re in for an amazing time especially if you join in with the Irish craic. To help you get the most out of your stay in Ireland during St Patrick’s Day, the team at coach breaks have come up with this mini guide to ensure that you don’t miss anything…

Who is St Patrick?
• He is the patron saint for Ireland.
• For 30 years of his life, St Patrick brought hope to Ireland by establishing churches and monasteries across the country.
• He used the native shamrock as a symbol of holy trinity when preaching.
• He died on 17th March 461 A.D. and since then, this day has been declared for celebration to celebrate St Patrick for converting pagans to Christianity.
• The legend is that on one occasion an innkeeper served St Patrick a whiskey that was less than a full shot. On this note, the saint took this as an opportunity to teach a lesson of generosity and told the innkeeper that a monstrous devil was lurking in his cellar and in order to banish him, the innkeeper must change his ways. From that moment on, the innkeeper continued to fill his patrons glasses to overflowing therefore banishing the devil.
• It is customary for those celebrating St Patrick’s Day to toast the Saint with a whiskey and this is known as ‘drowning the shamrock’ because you are supposed to float a leaf of the plant in the whiskey before downing the shot.
• As the centuries pass, this celebration has spread across the world where people of all nationalities come together to join the party.

What happens on St Patrick’s Day?
• With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th.
• For the majority of the Irish, it is classed as a religious holiday with many attending mass.
• For all those cities/towns celebrating St Patrick’s Day, you are more than likely to find parades, people wearing green and gold, music, songs, Irish food and drink as well as a variety of activities such as arts and craft.
• Some cities or towns will go to the extreme and dye rivers or streams green!
• 2013 is no exception,

What does St Patrick’s Day In Dublin mean?

Thousands of people will descend upon Dublin during the St Patrick’s Day Festival which is a four day event held in Ireland’s capital city. The main event is the St Patrick’s Day Parade and this attracts thousands of visitors to the streets of Dublin. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to make you trip here enjoyable:

What you should do:
• With the Parade beginning at midday, it is wise to set those alarm clocks the night before to ensure that you get up bright & early to reserve your place along the Parade route.
• Use public transport or walk as there are many restrictions in place for traffic to and from the city.
• Should you be going with a group of friends or family, decide on a meeting point just in case anyone gets lost!
• Once the Parade is over and the crowds have thinned out, take time to explore more of the city – enjoy a guided walk of the city, take a tour of the National Gallery or check out the many funfair rides.
• Research the places where you wish to refresh. Temple Bar is a mecca for tourists and can get extremely busy so best to head out to the pubs that are located a short distance from the city centre for something a little laidback and possibly a little less green!
• Walking is going to be the order of the day so it is advisable to wear comfy shoes especially as some of the streets are cobbled which are unsuitable for heels!
• Always keep an eye on your belongings. Large crowds will form for the St Patrick’s Day festivities so make sure your belongings are secure.
• Embrace all things Irish, don a green hat, wear a shamrock, fly the flag and join the craic with a whiskey or pint of Guinness!

What you shouldn’t do:
• Don’t attempt to take your car into the city centre as there will be a variety of traffic restrictions in place.
• If you choose to use public transport, don’t expect a normal service to run and beware that it could be rather busy with everyone else doing exactly the same!
• Don’t lose your friends/family! Keep an eye out for everyone in your party!
• You won’t want to forget your camera as the Parade floats and costumes are worth a few snaps so you can remember your time in Dublin.
• The Irish would advise you not to go home early because once the Parade is finished, the party really starts especially in the pubs of Temple Bar.
• Don’t attempt to Irish dance after you have had a few pints of Guinness – apparently it can be the cause of one too many injuries!

Whatever you do, have a great time on St Patrick’s Day but take care!

Will any of you be in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day? If so, get in touch and let us know what the celebrations are like on the Emerald Isle…