If there’s one holiday that could be considered the most important in Ireland, it would be St. Patrick’s Day. March 17th is the feast day of St. Patrick, considered to be the patron saint of Ireland, and as such the Irish celebrate it with gusto. In fact, the Irish has stretched celebrations for this holiday into one full week of merriment called St. Patrick’s Festival. Visitors and travellers who participate in this fun week will be treated to spectacular fireworks displays, an open-air music festival, street theater performances and a huge parade. Most people would wear shamrocks in their clothing as a sign of being Irish. A shamrock is a type of clover that is native to Ireland. Children, on the other hand, wear tri-color (green, orange, white) badges. Girls would often be seen tying their hairs with green ribbons. Outside of Dublin, the biggest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is in Downpatrick – where St. Patrick was buried after his death in March 17, 461. The Downpatrick parade of 2004 was a grand event. It had 2000 participants and 82 floats, bands as well as various performers. Over 30,000 people descended into Downpatrick to view this parade. Events like St. Patrick’s Day are the type of events that tourists and travellers want to experience. It is a way to really soak up the culture and history of a country. For those who really want an authentic and unadulterated way of seeing the country, renting a car is the way to go. Travelling by car in Ireland gives travellers the opportunity to see the country as the locals do – without the din of commercial tours. It also gives travellers the luxury of time. They can stop in whichever place that catches their fancy and stay there as long as they want. They can even go to small villages and talk with the locals and really get a feel of what Irish rural life is. Car hire companies in Ireland are very reputable and offer great service to tourists.
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