With The Gathering taking place in 2013, this year is undoubtedly the year to be Irish. While the small isle in the middle of the Irish Sea may only be home to five million people, there are more than 70 million diaspora worldwide, all proud of their Irish heritage. The Gathering is a year-long celebration which will see many retrace their footsteps to the Emerald Isle in a celebration of everything green and gold. If you’re planning a trip back home to reclaim your roots, here is some inspiration for what not to miss.
Make the most of all things traditional
Celebrating The Gathering is a great excuse to enjoy an evening or two of traditional entertainment. Lovers of traditional music will want to make the most of their break in Ireland by catching the Brown University orchestra, attending the Clifden Traditional Music Festival in Galway or the International Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow. There’s also dance, theatre and literary workshops and performances throughout the year meaning you won’t have any difficulty finding something to keep you entertained. For sports enthusiasts, the All Ireland Hurling Championships which take place
in Dublin in May are well worth getting a ticket for. For those who have travelled with the family, County Louth hosts the National Leprechaun Hunt in April where participants search for ceramic leprechauns and their hidden treasure around Foy Mountain.
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day
You couldn’t choose a better time for your holiday to Ireland than during March which coincides with St Paddy’s day. As usual, there is plenty to put you in a celebratory mood but in the year of The Gathering, the atmosphere is sure to be heightened. The four day festival in Dublin is ideal for putting the whole family in the party mood with street festivals, illuminations of the city’s iconic buildings and walking tours. Be sure to set your alarm clock further south as in Dingle the celebrations begin at 6am when the Dingle Fife and Drum band take to the streets. Cork is also a great place to celebrate where a weekend of festivities which includes a food and craft market, activities for the children and live music. Wherever you celebrate the legend of St Patrick, you can’t go far wrong with a pint of the black stuff and the company of great people. Sláinte!
Enjoy the great outdoors
Ireland is known far and wide as the Emerald Isle and the combination of breathtaking coastline and stunning inland landscapes are perfect for exploring on foot or two wheels. Returning to Ireland for The Gathering is the ideal opportunity to retrace your ancestors’ footsteps by discovering exactly where they lived in Ireland. There are numerous outdoors gatherings planned this year; try hill walking in the Donegal highlands where you can look forward to wonderful views from the Sliabh Liag peninsula or the Outdoor Activity Festival in Clonbur where walking, cycling and fly fishing can all be enjoyed. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from exploring the beauty of the great outdoors entirely at your own pace.
This Post is Brought to You by Amanda and Sykes Cottages
Amanda is a Canadian with a passion for exploring Ireland. Visit Sykes Cottages to find a great selection of holiday cottages in Ireland, the perfect accommodation for your Gathering holiday.