Fun for all the family at home this year at stpatricksfestival.ie
The National St. Patrick’s Festival takes place 12-17 March 2021. Dúisigh Eire! Awaken Ireland! is the theme of this year’s festival, a clarion call to the Irish across the world to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead.
Dúisigh Eire! Awaken Ireland! promises to be a positive and uplifting celebration of our incredible people, our beautiful island, our community bonds, our young people, artists, creators and makers, and our diaspora across the world. This year, the events are taking place on St. Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV), an online TV channel at stpatricksfestival.ie, which launches on March 12 and runs over six great virtual days and nights, and will be accessible globally through the festival website and also at RTÉ’s dedicated culture website rte.ie/culture.
Family fun and community spirit are at the heart of every St. Patrick’s Festival, and this year is no different. SPF Óg is a collection of events, performances, workshops and experiences for the young and the young at heart. From the comfort and warmth of your home, learn more about the masterpieces in the national collection whilst participating in yoga classes for children (and the whole family!) at Kids Yoga at National Gallery Ireland. Alongside the yoga, instructor Mary Dowling will also discuss Irish art from the Gallery, taking in the different locations on site as we embrace this skill for life and encourage our young to start early while enjoying the mindfulness connection through art.
Enjoy some madcap circus adventures. Belfast’s Tumble Circus presents The MacCarnyson is a hammer smashing Belfast inspired circus movie like no other, with big laughs and dead-on skill. The MacCarnyson's features death defying aerialists, hardcore acrobats, mind bending jugglers and loads of craic. Or maybe you’ll enjoy Ballet Poulet by Fanzini Productions, with two world class Olympian-level idiots bringing you their latest masterpiece, a non-verbal, family friendly street show featuring clown, dance, circus, comedy and absurdity.
For little ones who’ve ever wondered how electricity works or want to know more about the world of bees and pollinators, be sure to check out Science at Home with Dr. Dan Nickström & Midlands Science where he’ll solve the scientific mysteries of the world. Or if they want to unleash their creative spirit, Animal Transformations with The Ark and Irish Arts Centre, New York is the event for them. Discover ancient tales of shapeshifting creatures and create your own in this book-making video workshop with visual artist Duffy Mooney-Sheppard. And then join one of the few practising seanchaithe (traditional Irish lore-keepers and tale-spinners) remaining in Ireland, for Irish Legends with Storyteller Eddie Lenihan.
Curious State are experts in creative intervention, taking to the stage and street with quirky theatre and music for all the family, reclaiming public spaces with captivating antics and laughter. For St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 the Waterford-based theatre and street spectacle company brings us the What’s on the TellyBox? events. The Barceló Brothers are a vibrant young band formed by Galway brothers Séamus and Mícheál who along with their father Miquel perform an explosive mix of old and new Zydeco infused with R&B, Reggae, Soul, and Funk music. A Handy History of IRELAND is a collection of funny interviews conducted by finger puppet caricatures, but not one for the history teachers! And The Street Sweeper is a short-film, for all the family, that investigates the daily routine of a not-so-ordinary street cleaner.
Since we cannot gather on the streets of Dublin for the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade this March 17th, we are reimagining how we bring to life the heart and soul of the national Parade, through spectacle, marching bands, pageantry and ceremony, inviting our audiences to participate virtually and enjoy safely from their homes until we can come together again. St. Patrick’s Festival has partnered with RTÉ this year to develop the #RTÉVirtualParade initiative, a fun and safe ‘at home’ parade alternative for all the nation to enjoy on March 17th. Keep your eyes peeled for more info about this coming soon.
Teenagers should definitely check out Teen Spirit with Bressie, a spoken word piece by Niall Breslin that brings him back to his secondary school classroom. Sparked by the moment when he found out that one of his musical heroes, Kurt Cobain, had died by suicide, he talks about how the adults around him reacted to the news and the stigma that surrounded Kurt's death and he asks himself, knowing what he knows now, what he would do differently today so he can show this generation of teenagers how they can be the ones to stop the stigma around mental health. Or if you’re a film fan, check out Ireland's Young Filmmakers and the chance to enjoy five special 15-minute film collections showcasing the best short films made by young people from Ireland.
While we look forward to a time when Ireland commences the journey towards reopening, and prepares to welcome the world to our beautiful, vibrant, island, this year St. Patrick’s Festival invites all our people of every age to celebrate from home, in support of the tireless work of our healthcare warriors and our frontline workers, who battle on every day to protect our people and lead us out of the pandemic.