Patrick’s Day

It’s just a little bit after ten in the morning, and as I type I can hear a load of drummers having a warm-up practice prior to the big St Patrick’s Day Parade through Dublin’s city centre later on today. According to press reports, there are some 4,000 participants taking part in the parade, and an estimated one million spectators expected.

The parade is just one of the events being held today (and over the weekend) to celebrate Ireland’s saint. The St Patrick’s Festival has included concerts, film, street theatre, children’s events, and a funfair. And, of course, St Patrick’s Day itself is a public holiday here in the republic – so everyone can take part in the fun.

This is all of a marked contrast to the saint’s days in the UK, which hardly ever get mentioned these days. I know that Scotland has been trying to raise the profile of St Andrew’s Day, and the Scottish parliament have been exploring the idea of making it a public holiday. But in England it seems that almost nothing is done to mark St George’s Day. Indeed, a survey taken last April found that a third of all English people didn’t know the date of St George’s Day.

Going Green

Green hair, green clothes, green Guinness, and even green milkshakes from McDonalds. I’ve heard that pretty-much the whole of Ireland turns green for St Patrick’s Day. And so in the spirit of the celebrations, I’ve updated the colour scheme for the site. Hope you like it. And a very happy St Patrick’s Day to you on Monday.

St Patrick’s Concert

This evening we’ve got a concert at Christ Church, as part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival celebrations here in Dublin. It’s a bit of a mixed bag – with music from 8 different countries – which is a lot of fun to perform, and hopefully to listen to as well.

The full programme is:

  • Mozart Missa Brevis in D (K194) – Austria
  • Bach Cantata 182 “Himmelsknig, sei willkommen” for Palm Sunday – Germany
  • Araujo Los Coflades De La Estleya – Latin America
  • Poulenc Seigneur, je vous on prie – France
  • Pablo Casals O vos omnes – Spain
  • Howells Hills of the north rejoice – England
  • Traditional (arr. Runswick) She moved through the fair – Ireland
  • Chilcott The Making of the Drum – Africa
  • Parry I was glad – England

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