Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin

The Paddy's Day Parade in Dublin is no joke. This is no small thing...tons of people crowd in to see the amazing creativity on display.  We arrived Tuesday night (March 15th) and the difference in crowds between that night and the following nights was incredible.  During this week especially, Dublin is an international city.  We actually got to the point where we were wondering where all the Irish people were--everyone seemed to be from somewhere else.  And everyone was wearing something green.  From a simple green scarf or shirt to the fully costumed leprechauns, there was a sea of green.

First thing in the morning was apparently a rowing race (is there a proper name for those things?) on the Liffey, directly outside our room.  This was accompanied by bicyclists and tour buses cheering them on.  Good morning! Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Go Team!  As we were soon to find out, that was only the prelude.  When we ventured out of the hotel for some breakfast, the city was already filled.

(my attempt to capture the crowd)

When the parade finally started (at 12 noon) we had been walking and standing and waiting and crowding in for hours.  Everyone was ready to start celebrating.

Apart from the marching bands, people waving, and bagpipes, there were some monstrous horses (pictured here for the sake of my horsie-loving 6 year-old) that these pictures don't do justice.  They were intimidating.

There were also some of the most unusual costumes and floats (if one could call them that) that I've seen.  I certainly wasn't expecting them!  I wish I knew the significance, but alas I've not had time to research.  They were extremely creative, however.  I forgot to take pictures of many of them simply because I was busy trying to figure them out!

A mechanical marionette-type feature.

Another marionette-type thing.  This
was amazing! So realistic!

One of the costumes--don't ask what they
are, because I've not the faintest idea.


A mobile platform for drumming.  But of course.

Yep, no idea.

And there you have it--snippets of the Paddy's Day Parade in Dublin.  After the parade ended I was ready for a nap, but I think that everyone else was ready for a stroll and a pint.  After a quick cappucino, it was back to the hotel for us.  We were still close enough to listen to the crowds of people as they continued to celebrate.  Saint Patrick's Day in Dublin may not have been what I was expecting, but it certainly didn't let me down!

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