Ireland is a country with many festivities and days of celebration around different topics, events and personalities. In fact, there are exactly nine public holidays during the whole year, which in Ireland are called ‘bank holidays’ and all of them are celebrated on a Monday.
It is advisable to know the exact date on which they are celebrated in this new year because the school will be closed these days and you can take advantage of this by doing those activities you have always wanted to do. Furthermore, I am sure that most of you are probably super busy not only studying and preparing for exams, but also in your part time jobs. If you know these dates in advance, you have time to organise lots of activities or even a small trips or holiday.
Check it out!
New Year’s Day – 1st of January
Ireland’s first day of the year is a public holiday, just as it is in all countries that follow the Gregorian calendar. This holiday is exactly one week after Christmas. It is likely that businesses, restaurants and pubs are closed on this day but public transport is available, with limited services tough. On this quiet day people celebrate the new year with family and friends at home (and recovering from the celebrations of the night before!).
St. Patrick’s Day – 17th of March
Unlike New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is an enormous party, not only celebrated in Ireland, but in countries throughout the world, even if there isn’t an Irish population living there. Its origin lays in the commemoration of St. Patrick’s death, one of the most important icons in Ireland’s history. Green is the colour par excellence and the parade in Dublin is spectacular, attended every year by more than half a million people.
Keep in mind that if the day falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a day of holiday and this year St. Patrick’s Day is on Saturday, so the next Monday 19th of March will be holiday. Nice, isn’t it?
Good Friday and Easter Monday – 30th of March and 2nd of April
Good Friday is the day to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ but is not officially a public holiday in Ireland. Nonetheless, the schools and some businesses will close. This year Good Friday will fall on the 30th of March.
In addition, in April our students will have a break to celebrate Easter: five days! Use them wisely!This period is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Bank Holidays in May, June and August – 7th of May, 4th of June and 6th of August
On the first Monday of the months of May, June and August there is a public holiday. On the first of May we celebrate the International Worker’s Day. This day is celebrated in many countries around the world. Moreover, the origin of June Bank holiday is Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday, a festivity celebrated while Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom. Summer is always the best time to organise a small trip abroad!
Last Monday of October – 29th of October
Halloween is known as the most terrifying night of the year and on that night, everybody wears scary costumes and goes door to door singing ‘trick or treat’ in the search for sweets. This day is, together with Christmas, St. Patrick’s and Easter, one of the most important festivities in the Irish calendar. Although Halloween is on the 31st, in Ireland the public holiday is celebrated on the last Monday of the same month, which this year will be on the 29th. Are you ready for All Hallows’ Evening?
Christmas – 25th of December
The reason to celebrate this festivity is to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and it is celebrated today by people all over the world, whether they are Christians or not. On this day everything is closed and it is likely that public transport is not available.
St. Stephen’s Day – 26th of December
Saint Stephen’s Day is another important day in the Irish calendar. Every 26th of December, they commemorate the life of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Called Lá Fhéile Stiofáin or Lá an Dreoilín, which means the Wren Day. On this day, people follow the tradition of dressing up in straw hats and clothes and going door by door with fake wrens, dancing, singing and playing music.