By Madison Tucky, Visiting Student, Trinity Department: English, (Home University: University of Southern California, English and Narrative Studies Major)
When I told people that I would be studying abroad in Dublin this term, the main thing that everyone wanted to talk about was how excited I was for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never made a big deal out of St. Patrick’s Day before, but I was also really looking forward to spending it in Ireland. I assumed the atmosphere would be really fun and that there would be a lot of tourists visiting the city. I was right on both counts and had a really wonderful day. I slept in late but eventually got up and got dressed, wearing lots of green of course and a shamrock stick-on-tattoo on my cheek. My friend and I went down to the parade route that goes through Dublin and hung out there for a little while. There were so many people who’d been waiting for the parade for hours so we were just standing at the back, but we just wanted to be out with everyone and didn’t care how much of the parade we actually saw.
Eventually we ended up going back to my apartment on campus, where we could actually see the parade from my bedroom window, and watching the majority of it from there. It was really funny to watch the Dublin parade after only having seen American parades. There were a lot of floats that I just did not understand – I had no idea whether they were some cultural reference that I hadn’t picked up on yet, or if they were just weird parade floats. There was one where someone was rowing a bathtub that was suspended in the air that was really cool and impressive, but I definitely found myself wondering what I was looking at. My favorite part of parades though has always been the bands and I heard some great Irish music while the bands marched along the route, so I was happy.
After the parade we met up with friends and wandered around the Temple Bar area, going to a few pubs and just hanging out with everyone that was celebrating. It was busier than I’d ever seen it, but we had so much fun meeting a bunch of people from all over the world and talking to them about their experiences with Dublin. Almost everyone was wearing green and had traveled here for St. Patrick’s Day, so it was a really fun atmosphere.
A few of my friends actually made plans for the day to go and see the football and hurling matches that were going on that day. A lot of the people that I talked to had either seen the matches or heard about them, and since I know nothing about sports it was funny to sit and listen to people who really had no idea what hurling was try and explain it to me in a pub in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. Later in the evening my friend had invited me to a concert, and I actually had no idea who was playing or where it was, but I agreed to go with her and her friends because it seemed like a lively thing to do. I tagged along and heard some really great music, though I never did manage to catch the name of the performers. After the concert we all headed back to a pub near Trinity and had a drink before going back home. It was such a fun experience and I had such a wonderful day. I went into it with very few expectations or plans, but I found that just hanging out at a pub was all of the real entertainment I needed for the day. It was crowded and busy to be sure, but everyone was pleasant for the most part and just happy to be there enjoying the day.