Saint Paddy’s Day in Ireland?? Welp, get ready for green beer, green hair and so much Irish pride.
I had been looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland from the moment I got accepted at UCC. Originally, I wanted to spend the day in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, but because of scheduling conflicts I was not able to. I was disappointed that plans had fallen through, but this unfortunate turn of events quickly became the best thing that could have happened.
Luckily, all of my friends were planning on staying in Cork City, Ireland’s second biggest city, and to locals, the country’s “real capital.” I quickly realized that St. Paddy’s day in Boston and Newport is a much bigger deal than it is on the Emerald Isle, but that didn’t take away from the celebration. Good company made March 17th, 2019 a day to remember forever.
The parade in Cork’s city center was less crowded, less boisterous, less obnoxiously drunk and much more of a tourist attraction than in cities in the U.S. with high Irish populations. Fortunately, it was a surprisingly sunny and warm day in the city; thanks to St. Paddy for blessing us with such nice weather. Despite the sub-par parade, our day of drinking was made complete with baileys coffee, face painting, shamrock shakes, green cider and a lot of dancing, and partying once the sun went down.
The nighttime atmosphere was much different compared to the laid-back feel of the day. By eight PM the streets and bars were filled with drunk leprechauns and girls who could barely walk in their heels. Cork city lit up in green. Pub lines were out the doors and the Irish tricolor could be seen strung from building to building, on clothing and in shops. This was a truly Irish celebration and Cork was not going to let you forget it.
While all of the Americans were very familiar with St. Patricks Day and most had gone to a parade or 20 in their lives, many of the Europeans had never had an experience with the Irish holiday- making the celebration that much more exciting. Friends of friends from Germany came to visit for the weekend and our small, three-bedroom apartment became home to 20-plus loud college students who all declared themselves as honorary Irish for the day.
While the events of the day, the parade and festivities weren’t all they were hyped up to be, Cork’s lively night scene made up for it. The drinks were strong and the company was good. The best days are the ones you can barely remember under a blur of alcohol, but that you relive in unforgettable, vivid flashes of smiling eyes and toothed smiles.