St. Patrick's Day  

Become Irish for a Day
The Irish didn’t always look so fondly on the color green. Folklore considered it a favorite hue of the Good People—the leprechauns. Those who wore too much color, especially children, might be carted off to somewhere past the rainbow.

But if the Patron Saint of Ireland was more fond of blue in his day, it’s the shamrock he carried across the country, and Irish pride that have made this enthusiastic holiday the most widely celebrated Saint’s Day in the world, and everything runs green. Half a million Irish dressed in green, sporting shamrocks, with green hair, green beer, and lounging near (or maybe in) green fountains, pack the streets of Dublin to capacity as early as 9 in the morning to watch the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.

Originally a single day festival, the event increased to 4 days to accommodate the 1.5 million visitors that flock from around the globe for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration. Street dancing, marching bands, giant puppets, and theater troupes march the avenue and music and celebration fill every open balcony and shop.

During the days before and after the parade, visitors can see the “sport of kings” and bet on some of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds at the track. Nearby Malahide Castle offers a peek into history, the oldest and most historic castle on the island, which hosted a single family for over 800 years.

And, of course, fine Irish stout and mead flow from every pub, served alongside soda bread and Irish stews, laden with chunks of geese or mutton. Plenty of fuel for the party seeking souls lining the streets and trying on Irish colors for a day.
St. Patrick's Day
Dublin, Ireland
Rating 86.26 
Rank [category] 23 
Rank [overall] 226 

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