In our #neweyestravel series we share an image and a few words to illustrate how travel helps us to see the world with new eyes.
A forty minute walk into city center turned into an almost two hour walk. I knew the buses were rerouted because of the parade, but failed to realize pedestrians would be as well. Arriving at last to our ideal parade watching spot, I begin to notice the lack of the stereotypical crazy, drunk Paddy’s Day celebrants all along the journey into town. In their place are families dressed in all green, moms holding children with theatrically painted faces, kids climbing on benches, cars, barriers all in hopes of getting a better view of the action, and dads pushing baby strollers/prams with balloons tied to and Irish flags draped on them.
Thoughts of my experiences celebrating St. Patrick’s Day stateside flash across my mind. Drunken college students, green beer, and general Oirish-ness stand out. Never had I attended a parade for any holiday (outside of New Orleans) that had so much creativity and imagination in its floats. Expecting to only see troops of Irish dancers, solely hear traditional music, and be inundated with representations of real or fantastical Irish figures, I am shocked by the uniqueness exhibited. A DJing sea turtle makes its way down the street. A few giant spiders creep along overhead. Funky paper mache girls with top hats and colorful hair delight the crowd. Suddenly I feel as though the rest of the world gets this day wrong. Paddy’s Day in Ireland is a true national celebration of Ireland’s cultural past, present, and future.
About the Author: Sarah Dilworth is a Melibee and entrepreneurial social media guru. You can read more about her here.