Wellness takes centre stage 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 on RTÉ’s dedicated culture website, RTÉ.ie/culture.

The impact of Covid-19 over this last year has highlighted the importance of our wellbeing and mental health like never before. It has been an unprecedented awakening and the message here is that these are some of the most important parts to all of our lives. To this end St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 brings us some must-attend wellness themed events this March.

Announcing today, St. Patrick’s Festival reveals that artist, writer, podcaster and musician Blindboy Boatclub will take part in a series of special events at this year’s Festival. As well as reading Jo Lee from his best-selling collection of short stories ‘Boulevard Wren’, Blindboy Boatclub presents Creativity and Mental Health is a series of five short films which will explore the importance of good mental health practice as an essential part of the creative process. In Failure, he looks at overcoming the fear of failure and embracing failure as a facet of the creative process; Time looks at creating time, specifically for creativity; Play sees him incorporate playfulness, messing and humour into our creative process, even where the artist's work is none of these things; in Criticism he’ll discuss dealing with the tricky  topic; and in Success Blindboy discusses establishing a healthy and realistic definition of success.  

Happenings and The Sea are joining with some big names from Ireland’s wellness arena to present classes that bring together mindfulness and yoga in a series of half hour long morning presentations. Breathe and Move features six wellness events filmed in stunning indoor, seaside and nature locations nationwide featuring renowned wellness experts Michael Ryan, Manasi Sridhar and Peter O' Brien. Keep an eye out too for Stephen and David Flynn of The Happy Pear and an appearance by Ronan O'Snodaigh from Kila in Michael Ryan's classes.

Born and raised in India, Manasi Sridhar practices and teaches Vinyasa and Yin Yoga along with meditation. Her classes are focused on synchronizing breath and movement, understanding physicality, meditation and self inquiry. Michael Ryan's teachings draw from a wide experience of yoga, meditation, philosophy and a love of poetry and prose, and he is also yoga and meditation teacher to our President, Michael D. Higgins; while Peter O’Brien is founder of Happenings and The Sea. 

Not forgetting our teenagers who 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. 

And for our youngest St. Patrick’s Festival fans Kids Yoga at National Gallery Ireland sees instructor Mary Dowling teach the little ones some yoga whilst also discussing Irish art from the Gallery, taking in the different locations on site as they embrace this skill for life and encourage our young to start early while enjoying the mindfulness connection through art.

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.