Indeed, today is a famous Saint Patrick’s Day, all around the world. Yes you read it right. This somehow weird, and interesting celebration, that is characteristic to Irish culture, spread with emigration of Irish generations around the globe. It seem to be quite represented to some extent in all English speaking countries, including United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most of the UK too.
Obviously here, in Ireland, it is the loudest, and believe me if I say it is widespread, it definitely is. Every town in Ireland celebrates this day on 17 of March, every year. In most of them, there’s parade planned for particular time of day, where some streets are getting closed, and community prepares to march through town with different fancy (and less fancy) costumes, floats etc. while other members of public observe it from sides, cheering for those who did that extra mile, and effort to dress themselves up, paint their faces, and participate in a parade.
The biggest parade is not surprisingly in Dublin, but despite living about 5-6 years in Dublin, and another 10 years very close by, we never managed to participate in one. Usually it was very much related to the fact that the city centre is so difficult for traffic in general, that when some streets become closed for parade, and many parking areas are saturated, it is on the verge of insanity to drive there and not feel like you enter the blender.
In Kilcock, where we lived for last 10 years, we participated in one of the parades, with school that Julian attended, and it was fun experience. Here in Donegal, it was our second time, with Julian’s new school. The theme chosen for the school was “jail”, and the float was a huge cage at the back of a car, imitating the jail, where principal dressed as an inmate with other teacher, and two other staff members were prison guard and Elvis Presley impersonation. Yes, Elvis was the key to our show off, because all participating pupils, and parents (most of them) were dressed in contrasting black and white stripes, while “Jailhouse Rock” song was flowing from the speakers on top of our jail truck.
The dance moves were performed by pretty much everyone over two laps around town, in the rhythm of the music. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of exercise surprisingly. From the car parked on the outskirts of Donegal Town, forth and back, plus the two laps with the parade, we did over 6 kilometres. If you consider dancing in the middle, you can imagine that it was a decent cardio overall.
Weather was good, and despite couple of drizzle spells, temperature was amazingly warm, and occasional rain didn’t bother anyone. We had really good fun together as a family, people loved our representation, and it paid back in the end, because our school, dance moves, and energy won us first place from all floats in the parade. This additional bonus win, was a nice and motivating element of today’s activity.
A lot of tourists came for the parade in Donegal, so the town was packed, parking full of cars and campervans, and I can only assume that pubs and restaurants were just bursting with people.
I am falling on my face at the moment, so forgive me cutting this post here. I’ll just record it now, and maybe write a bit more tomorrow referring to some thoughts around the whole thing.