Ireland: Holidays, Events and National Customs
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts for 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|17. March||St. Patrick’s Day (national holiday)|
|March April||Good Friday and Easter Monday|
|First Monday in June||Bank holiday|
|First Monday in August||Bank holiday|
|Last Monday in October||Bank holiday|
|December 25th/26||Christmas and St. Stephen’s Day|
Source: Countryaah – Ireland Holidays
Many festivals are celebrated in Ireland every year. In 2006 there were 309 festivals, along with countless other events. Here is a selection of the special celebrations.
|March||On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in honor of St. Patrick.|
|June||– Maritime Song Festival in Cobh- Feile Cholm Cille (3-day music festival) in Gleann Cholm Cille
– Eigse Carlow Arts Festival (art festival) in Carlow
– The World Oceans Festival (water sports festival) in Tramore
– Ballyjamesduff Pork Festival (festival for the whole family) in Ballyjamesduff
– John Mckenna Traditional Festival (3-day festival in honor of the musician John McKenna (1880-1947) in Drumkeeran
– West Cork Garden Trail (garden exhibition) in West Cork
– Bloomsday (based on the novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce) in Dublin on June 16
|August||Puck Fair (goat festival) in Killorglin|
|September||Galway International Oyster Festival (Oyster Festival) in Galway|
|October||– Cork Jazz Festival in Cork- Belfast Festival at Queen’s University (music and exhibitions)
– Opera festival at the Theater Royal in Wexford until early November
There are numerous horse races in Ireland throughout the year in different locations.
In June, the so-called Walking Festival takes place in West Cork. There are numerous runs.
Old Irish traditional music is still very popular today. It is determined by harps, jew harps, bagpipes, violins, flutes, accordions and guitars.
The Irish language is a Celtic language and was the dominant language in Ireland for over 2,000 years. In the 16th century, with the British invasion, the introduction of English and the suppression of the Irish language began. English is still the main language spoken today, although Irish is encouraged and taught in schools from first grade.
The following table shows climate data for. It should be noted that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ from each other and thus also from the values shown. In addition, the monthly average values of the temperature have little informative value with regard to the minimum or maximum temperatures. It is possible that at average temperatures of around 20 °C maximum values of 30 °C or more occur. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that IE stands for the nation of Ireland as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
– Skellig Michael rock island with an early medieval monastery settlement
– Bend of the Boyne archaeological ensemble
Cork is a university city and major economic center of Ireland. The city was founded in the 6th century and settled by Vikings in the 9th century. In the 12th century, the Normans conquered Cork. The city is located in the south of the country on the Atlantic Ocean and has one of the largest ports in Ireland. The largest Irish steel company, the Irish Steel Company, is based there.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland as well as the industrial, commercial and cultural hub of the country. The River Liffey divides the city in half. The city center is to the south of the river and the poorer outskirts of the city to the north. Historical records of Dublin go back to 140. In the 5th century, St. Patrick converted the residents to Christianity. In the 9th century, the Vikings invaded the city and made it the starting point for their raids. During the 12th century, Dublin eventually became the capital of the region. The history of the city was then shaped by the conflict between the Irish and the British until 1919. The bloody Easter Rising took place there in 1916. Since 1919 the city has been the seat of the independent Irish Parliament.Dublin.
Limerick is located on the River Shannon, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean and has one of the most important ports in the country. The city is one of the oldest localities in Ireland. The Vikings founded Limerick in the 9th century. Today the city is a strong economic center of Ireland due to its industrial operations.
Dublin Castle is a symbol of British rule in Ireland. The fort was built in 1204 and rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries. In 1922 the British handed the castle over to the Irish state.
The Four Courts in Dublin is the country’s supreme court. The classicist building was built between 1786 and 1802.
General Post Office
The General Post Office in Dublin is a powerful neo-classical building that was built in 1818. The post office is a symbol of the Easter Rising of 1916. The republic was proclaimed there. The freedom fighters then holed up inside the house. However, they were picked up and captured by the British.
The Guinness Brewery in Dublin with the Hop Store and Visitor’s Center offers an extensive exhibition on the history of the brewery and the art of brewing.
In Kilmainham Prison in Dublin from 1796 the Irish freedom fighters were imprisoned by the British. You can visit the building on a guided tour and learn about the history of the country.
King John’s Castle
The pentagonal King John’s Castle in Limerick towers over the city. The castle is adorned by three mighty defense towers and a bastion.
The Irish Parliament has been sitting in the Leinster House in Dublin since 1924. The building originally served the Dukes of Leinster as a city palace. In 1815, however, it was sold to the Royal Dublin Society, which established a cultural center there until 1924.
The beautiful Lynch’s Castle in Galway dates back to the 16th century and is one of the best-preserved patrician houses of that time. Today there is a bank in the building, whose builder family made 83 mayors of the city.
The architect James Gandon (1743-1823), originally from England, designed this magnificent government building – completed in 1791 – in the style of neoclassicism, initially as a customs office; however, the building as such was soon no longer needed, as the customs administration was moved to London in 1800 as part of the Unification Act. In 1921 the building was set on fire by the IRA in the course of the Anglo-Irish War and severely damaged. It was then rebuilt between 1926 and 1991. Nowadays, the local government resides in the building.
From the south bank of the river you have a wonderful view of the building, which is reflected in the water.
Custom House Quay
St. Patrick’s College and Museum
Established as a Catholic seminary as early as 1795, the college was the first Catholic training facility since the suppression of the Catholic Church by England in the 16th and 17th centuries. The building complexes were built in Georgian and early Victorian styles, the campus chapel was built between 1875 and 1877. The museum presents rather strange exhibits, for example a horseshoe machine. Between June and September, the buildings can be viewed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Malahide Castle was founded in 1185 and was family owned until 1976. The precious interior is particularly worth seeing.
Muckross House in Killarney is a 19th century Elizabethan mansion. The magnificent interior and the small local museum are well worth seeing.
In the Reginaldtower in Waterford, which dates back to the 12th century, it was used as a mint and prison for centuries. The 22 m high tower was supposedly built by the Normans.
Waterford Glass Factory
The Waterford Glass Factory was founded in 1783. The hand-blown vases, glasses, carafes etc. were and are exported all over the world. A visit to the glass factory is worthwhile.
The Wellington Testimonial in Dublin is a 20 m high obelisk erected in honor of Duke Wellington. Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.
Westport House in Westport is a mansion dating from 1731. The owner opened the house to the public in 1960. Since then, one can admire the precious interior.
St. Ann`s Church
St. Ann`s Church is located on Dawson Street and St. Anne Street. It was designed by the architects Deane and Woodward in 1707, but its impressive Romanesque facade was not added until 1868.
The church is visited with pleasure and often – and not only by the faithful – and is certainly one of the sacred highlights of the city of Dublin.
Tel.: 00353- (0) 1-6767727
Christ Church Cathedral
The Christ Church Cathedral, which is also in Dublin, dates from 1172. The former Romanesque building was renovated and redesigned between 1871 and 1878.
Church of St. Nicholas
The Church of St. Nicholas in Galway dates back to the 14th century. However, it was expanded and redesigned several times in the 15th and 16th centuries. Allegedly, Christopher Columbus attended a mass there before his trip across the Atlantic.
Father Matthew Memorial Church
The Father Matthew Memorial Church in Cork was built in 1832 in neo-Gothic style. The stained glass depicting the freedom fighter Daniel O’Connell is well worth seeing.
St. Canice’s Cathedral
St. Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny was built in the 13th century in the Gothic Early English style. The many grave monuments are especially worth seeing.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick was built in the 12th century. It was expanded in the 15th century, so that not much of the original structure has been preserved. The choir stalls from 1490, which were carved from black oak, are particularly worth seeing.
St. Michan’s Church
The St. Michan’s Church in Dublin is said to go back to a Viking founding in 1095. The wood carvings and the organ inside the church are worth seeing.
St. Patrick´s Cathedral
At this point, according to legend, St. Patrick converted the unbelievers to Christianity. The cathedral was built in 1192. Inside is the tomb of the writer Jonathan Swift. The sacred building has the longest medieval nave in the country and also has a beautiful garden.
St. Werburgh´s Church
The St. Werburgh´s Church in Dublin was built in 1715, but in 1754 it burned down completely. In 1768 the church was rebuilt.
Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum
The Glasnevin Cemetery was opened in the Dublin district of Glasnevin in 1832 at the instigation of Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) – an Irish politician and freedom fighter as a cemetery for Irish Catholics. O’Connell was later buried here himself. It is now the largest cemetery in Ireland with an area of around 50 hectares. In the Glasnevin Museum, which opened its doors in 2010, the work of important figures in the history of Ireland comes to life again. In 2011, the cemetery and museum received the “For Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment” award from the Themed Entertainment Association (THEA) in California/USA. The following graves are located in the cemetery:
- Brendan Behan (1923–1964)Behan is considered one of the most important Irish playwrights and writers of the last century, he was also active as a journalist and for a long time as an IRA terrorist.
- Cathal Brugha (1874-1922)Brugha was a participant in the 1916 Easter Rising, fought in the Anglo-Irish War (1919 to July 1921) and in the Irish Civil War (June 1922 to April 1923). He was also first chairman and president of the Irish House of Commons.
- Sir Roger David Casement (1864–1916)Casement was a British diplomat and Irish national hero. He was hanged as a traitor by the British on August 3, 1916
- Michael Collins (1890–1922)Collins was a senior member of the IRA and one of the members of the delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty. On August 22, 1922, on his way back from visiting relatives, he was ambushed with his motorcade and was shot dead.
- Charlotte Despard (1844–1939)Despard was a British writer, suffragette, and one of the first Sinn Féin activists.
- Maud Gonne (1866–1953)The Irish revolutionary, women’s rights activist and actress, who was born in England and died in Dublin, was best known for her relationship with the Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner for literature, William Butler Yeats.
- Luke Kelly (1940–1984)Luke Kelly was an Irish folk singer, banjo player, songwriter and co-founder of the band “The Dubliners”
- James Fintan Lalor (1807–1849)Lalor was an Irish journalist and revolutionary. As a leading member of the so-called “Young Irelander” he played an important role in the Irish uprisings of 1848.
- James Larkin (1874–1947)Larkin was born in Liverpool and died in Dublin. After moving from England to Ireland, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers ‘Union, the Irish Labor Party and the Workers’ Union of Ireland there.
- Michael MacWhite (1883–1958)MacWhite was an adventurer and later a diplomat. He studied in Denmark, worked as a newspaper correspondent and fought on the side of the Bulgarian army in the first Balkan War of 1912. In 1913 he joined the French Foreign Legion and fought on various battlefields in France, Greece and Turkey. He was wounded in Gallipoli and Macedonia.
- Edward McCabe (1816–1885)In 1879, McCabe was named successor to Cardinal Cullen and made archbishop. In 1882 he was elevated to the rank of cardinal. He was a bitter opponent of the modernization movements in Ireland.
- Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891)The politician Parnell was an important political leader in Ireland and is considered one of the most important Irish personalities of the 19th century.
- Eamon de Valera (1882–1975)Eamon de Valera was born on October 14, 1882 in New York City and was Irish Prime Minister three times from 1932 to 1948 and then from 1951 to 1954 and from 1957 to 1959) and from 1959 to 1973 the 3. President of the Republic of Ireland.
Museums and scientific institutions
The Abbey Theater in Dublin has been Ireland’s national theater since 1904.
Galway City Museum
The Galway City Museum has exhibits on the city’s history.
Passage grave of Newgrange
The passage grave of Newgrange near Kells dates from around 3,200 BC. The hill made of stones is approx. 13 m high and 90 m wide. Twelve monoliths stand around the grave. Around the cairn are around 100 monoliths that are around 1.2 m high and 4.5 m long.
Hugh Lane Municipial Gallery of Modern Art
Collection of impressionist paintings bequeathed to the Dublin Corporation by Hugh Lane in 1905. Since they had no premises, Lane temporarily planned a donation to the National Gallery in London, until the Charlemont House in Dublin was proposed as an exhibition location. Lane’s will, which was definitely in favor of the Dublin Corporation, was unfortunately not certified in time and Lane drowned in an accident on the high seas; so today, after a long-standing dispute, the Dublin Corporation and the National Gallery alternate every 5 years. The Charlemont House also has a sculpture room with works by Rodin and other Irish artists.
Irish Design Center
The Irish Design Center in Kilkenny is housed in the former stables of Kilkenny Castle.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the largest classical building in Ireland from the 17th century.
Irish National Museum
The Irish National Museum in Dublin has an exhibition of Irish history.
Limerick Municipal Museum
The Limerick Municipal Museum displays exhibits related to the city’s history.
grave At the foot of the Muckrock Hill near Dublin is a megalithic grave from the 3rd century BC. The huge 70-tonne ceiling slab partially slipped from the eight pillars and is an impressive sight.
At the Municipal Gallery in Dublin you can admire Impressionist paintings.
National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland houses a unique collection of British, Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian, German and Spanish works of art. A whole room is dedicated to the artists Yeats – so John Butler Yeats (1839-1922)
and his son Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) – the brother of the poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), who won the Nobel Prize in 1923 Literature received.
Anyone visiting Dublin is strongly advised to visit this museum.
Mon – Sat: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
National History Museum
The National History Museum in Dublin displays examples of Irish wildlife.
The National Library in Dublin houses all newspaper articles, first prints of Irish literature and old maps.
The Old Library in Dublin is an outstanding attraction. The Long Room alone contains 200,000 leather-bound books. Underneath is the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the four Gospels with many miniatures from the 8th century.
Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel in the place of the same name is a 70 m high hill on which a former castle stands. From the 4th to the 11th centuries it served as the seat of the Kings of Munster.
Round hut village of Craggaunowen
The round hut village of Craggaunowen near Limerick shows the prehistoric Irish way of living from the Iron Age to the early Christian era.
Castle Bantry House
Castle Bantry House in Bantry was built from 1740 to approx. 1840. It houses the sumptuous collection of the Earl of Bantry. Among other things, you can see mosaics from Pompeii, valuable furniture, tapestries and paintings.
Sligo County Museum and Municipal-Art Gallery
The Sligo County Museum and Municipal-Art Gallery in Sligo has exhibits on the city’s history and paintings.
City Museum The Kilkenny City Museum is housed in Rothe House, a 16th century merchant’s house.
St. Mary’s Abbey Exhibition
This abbey was founded by Benedictine monks in 1139 and was one of the most important monasteries in medieval England. Many estates belonged to him, taxes were collected from here and the council also met in the sacred institution. In 1539, however, the monastery was dissolved and today only the chapter house remains, in the vault of which there is an exhibition on the history of the monastery.
Stone Fort Grianan of Aileach
The stone fort Grianan of Aileach near Letterkenny was built in the first two centuries. The fort has a 4 m thick and 5 m high, round stone wall. It served as the seat of local kings for 700 years from the 5th century. It was destroyed in the 12th century and only restored in 1870.
Dublin City University
Dublin City University in the Glasnevin district, which is currently attended by around 10,000 students, has a very modern campus. It has existed since 1975.
National University of
Located in Galway, Ireland, the National University of Ireland has existed since the first half of the 19th century. At that time it was part of the Queen’s University of Ireland.
Trinity College Trinity College,
one of the most prestigious universities in Dublin, dates back to the 16th century and Queen Elizabeth I, who had it established for Protestant students. Samuel Beckett was one of the most famous students at the university.
University College Dublin
The University College of Dublin, also known as the National University of Ireland or University College Dublin, is attended by more than 20,000 students and is therefore the largest university in the country.
Natural beauties, national parks
The Powerscourt Gardens, with an area of 190,000 m² = 19 hectares, are considered to be the most beautiful gardens in Ireland. The garden is located in County Wicklow – at the foot of the 503 m high Sugar Loaf Mountain near the town of Enniskerry a little less than 20 km south of Dublin.
The beginnings go back to King James I (), who handed the region over to Sir Richard Wingfield in 1609 and was elevated to Viscount Powerscourt by the king. Under his rule, the planting of ornamental gardens began, which were expanded in the middle of the 19th century. Particularly noteworthy are the Italian and Japanese gardens, the staircase between the manor house and the Triton Lake and a gate from the Bamberg Cathedral. Animal lovers will delight in the small pet cemetery where dogs, cats, cows, ponies and horses have been resting for 90 years. Golf enthusiasts will also find a golf course on the site.
In the middle of the complex is the mansion (Powerscout House) built around 1730 in the Palladian style, which was seriously damaged by a fire in 1974. After extensive renovation work, it was opened to the public again in 1997. In the house there is a small museum as well as shops and a boutique, and events are also held here.
A few miles from Powerscourt Gardens is the highest waterfall in Ireland – Powerscourt Waterfall. Here the river Dargle pours down from a height of around 112m over a granite rock. The Dargle rises in the Wicklow Mountains – on the northern slope of Djouce Mountain, flows through the Glencree Valley, where it joins the River Glencree. Around 15 km further east, it then flows into the Irish Sea at Bray via the local sports boat harbor.
The Burren area near Doolin, a collection of sandstone plateaus, is partially protected. The specialty of this area is the species-rich fauna, some of which go back to the time before the last ice age.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher offer a special natural spectacle. The steep cliffs plunge into the sea about 200 meters deep. Thousands of sea birds nest in the crevices of the cliffs that stretch 8 km along the sea.
Connemara National Park
The Connemara National Park covers an area of 20 km² and offers a piece of unspoiled nature with a special flora and fauna.
Croagh Patrick is a 762 m high mountain that can be climbed via a pilgrimage route. Allegedly, Saint Patrick spent a 40-day fast on the mountain.
Glenveagh National Park
The Glenveagh National Park is 100 km² and was inaugurated in 1986. It impresses with its exotic plant species, which are in stark contrast to the surrounding mountains.
Hill The Howth Peninsula hill is a protected area. From the top you have a very good view of Dublin and the Irish Sea.
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is the oldest national park in Ireland. It covers an area of 80 square kilometers and is home to numerous animal and plant species.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Skellig Michael rock island with early medieval monastery settlement
The two rocky islands are about 12 km off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula in the south-west of the country.
On one of these islands, the Great Skellig Michael, monks lived in Spartan solitude from the 7th to the 12th century AD.
They built their monk cells, prayer houses and a cemetery on the pyramid-shaped rock.
In order to be able to reach the facility from the sea, they cut about 700 steps into the rock.
The smaller island is now a bird sanctuary with the largest gannet colony on earth. Both islands are no longer inhabited. The rocky island was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996.
Archaeological Ensemble Bend of the Boyne
“Bend of the Boyne” – actually the place is called “Brú na Bóinne” – is located in the valley of the River Boyne north of Dublin in County Meath.
The River Boyne is through the victory of King William III known from England in 1690 via the former English King James II.
In the Boyne Valley between Slane and Donore is a collection of places of worship – Dowth, Knowth and New Newgrange – some of which have been dated to an age of 5,500 years. Here the pagan kings of Torah were buried on burial mounds that are surrounded by large, unworked stones (megaliths). An extraordinary phenomenon can be observed at the Newgranget cult site at the annual winter solstice – after the sun has crossed the horizon, a ray of sun penetrates to the end of a 19-meter long corridor.
The Newgrange burial chambers are 13 meters high and surrounded by 97 stones. It was calculated that around 200,000 tons of stone and earth were moved for the construction. The ensemble of Dowth, Knowth and New Newgrange was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993.