Amazing Festivals in Ireland to Attend
January 16, 2021 by Natasha
One thing about Ireland is for sure, and that’s that any Irish Festival is sure to be a party. There’s no denying that Ireland can sometimes seem a sleepy, quaint country. But alongside the miles of rolling green hillsides, sheep-laden fields, and beautiful coastlines, there is an underbelly of liveliness, adventure, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One thing for which there is no short supply in this incredible country is festivals; Ireland is chock full of events, festivals, and fairs to suit a variety of interests.
From arts and traditional music to some of the best local food you’ll ever taste, there’s something for everyone. And bonus; the fun doesn’t stop in the chilly months! Here is a list of some of the most popular festivals in Ireland…for every month of the year!Contentsshow
Festivals in Ireland You Have to Attend At Least Once
The Top Irish Festival In January – Temple Bar TradFest
The Temple Bar TradFest (say that ten times fast) runs for five days in the last half of January every year, at the tail end of winter and to celebrate the imminent arrival of spring. Now in its 13th year, this festival is growing in popularity every single year. The genre of festival is in the name; this is a niche celebration of traditional Irish tunes.
At least, that’s how it started out; now, the festival has expanded in such a way that there is a wide spread of musical genres to appeal both to the stubbornly traditional and the musical generalist. TradFest’s roots are still firmly planted in traditional Irish music, but folk and even rock and roll have a place there. Amazing Dream Destinations to Travel To
The festival showcases national talent in several different venues (including City Hall) so that you can see more of the city while you attend.
Location: Dublin City
The Top Irish Festival In February – The Gathering
Over two decades of this festival have culminated in something truly special. The Gathering is a widely-loved festival for Irish tradition in all its richest forms – including music, jig, storytelling, and ceilidhs. There are even masterclasses from musicians to teach the art of instrument craft. Whether your interest lies with the fiddle, accordion, flute, or another instrument, there are workshops and experts to show you the tricks of their trade
In 2020, the festival will run from February 26th through to March 1st. The sheer size of the festival means that events, shows, and workshops will take place in several venues located around town – from trendy bars and swanky hotels to classic ballrooms – but it is headquartered at the Gleneagle Hotel. If you can get a room there, you’ll be close to the action!
Location: Killarney, County Kerry
The Top Irish Festival In March – St Patrick’s Day Festival (Obviously)
St Patrick’s Day, on March 17th every year, is the biggest and most extravagant celebration of the year in Ireland. Obviously you knew this would be listed on this list of the best festivals in Ireland. Every city will, of course, have its own festival, parade, or other show of fun, but the largest of them all is undoubtedly the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin City. Spanning a full five days in mid-March, this celebration is definitely geared towards those with an inner party animal. Think Mardi Gras, but for nearly a week and with a lot more beer.
The events offered across the five days cover a lot of ground: you can tour the 300-year-old Marsh’s Library, take a city walk to retrace the steps of St. Patrick himself, fill your stomach at a craft beer & food festival, listen to live music left right and center, and the cherry on top: a huge parade that works hand in glove with theatre and pageantry companies to put on a show unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Location: Dublin City and around Ireland
The Top Irish Festival In April – Cork VegFest
If you have any interest in veganism, sustainability, and animal rights issues, or just a general appreciation for food, then you’ll want to add the Cork VegFest to your itinerary. This isn’t just about plant-based dishes; VegFest is a celebration of veganism and vegan cuisine and puts a spotlight on local vegan-friendly businesses.
You can find everything here, including demonstrations, product and dish sampling, information booths, and a ton more. As the vegan industry & lifestyle grows in popularity, so do the options for plant-based food substitutes (and their quality has skyrocketed in recent years, so even if you aren’t vegan, we can promise that you are in for some very fine dining!).
Veganism is growing, and this popular Irish festival goes to show that the plant-based food movement is starting to reach more and more communities in a growing number of countries. Every April, there’s a roster of panel speakers, performers, and educators to add something new to your vegan knowledge. But in addition to the educational aspects, there are fun events such as a vegan (temporary) tattoo station and even a hot sauce competition!