Festivals and Events in Ireland
Ireland can be enjoyed at any time of the year with its outstanding natural scenery, cozy pubs, lively streets, farm fresh food, and intriguing history; it's no surprise it’s a popular year-round destination. There are certainly some events and festivals throughout the year that might make your decision a little easier, especially if you're going to soak up the “craic” – good fun.
Needless to say, St. Patrick’s Day can be a great experience when in Ireland. The celebrations are actually smaller and tamer than those in America, most tourists head to Dublin but you’ll find family-friendly gatherings in every corner of the Country.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Ireland, as daylight hours get longer and the temperatures get warmer. Easter sometimes falls in April and it’s a lovely time to celebrate with the locals. Pay a visit to The Galway Food Festival which will occur in mid-April and celebrates the western city as an established destination for foodies from around the world. Good Friday is a public holiday in Northern Ireland, and Easter Monday is a public holiday in both the Republic of Ireland and in the north.
The first Monday in May and the last Monday are Spring bank holidays so be sure to enjoy time in the outdoors with the locals. It's one of Irelands warmest months so a perfect excuse for a lazy picnic. You might want to explore the Fleadh Nua music festival which takes over the streets and pubs of Ennis, County Clare in late May.
Enjoy cultural activates commemorating Bloomsday on June 16th, a day that celebrates James Joyce & Ulysses on the day the novel was completed. Also, visit Cork in late-June for their annual Midsummer Festival.
Between Galway and Kerry, the town of Ennis hosts a street Arts Festival in early July. During the second half of July, you can find the much larger Arts Festival in Galway, with local & international performances and displays during the two-week event.
The mid-month, annual “Puck Fair” is one of the most unique gatherings in Ireland. The town of Killorglin in Kerry hosts the family-friendly festival over three days, centered around crowning a goat as “The King of Puck.” Equally as exciting is the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Ireland's largest music festival the rotates town each year.
Explore Connemara mid-month for the Clifden Arts Festival, filled with theater, dance, poetry, music, and art. Or spend time in Dublin in September for, oddly enough, Oktoberfest! Also, go to Dingle for the annual Food Festival, which combines some of Ireland’s best walking with a culinary treat. Lastly, September also hosts The National Ploughing Championship, one of the most exciting, local experience in rural Ireland. Over 250,000 people gather to watch what is considered one of the most exciting events in the country.