Plan your holiday breaks: National Holidays in Ireland

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 most 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’ll have time to organize lots of activities or even small trips or holidays. 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 though. 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 of the day and the parade in Dublin is spectacular, attended every year by more than half a million people.

Good Friday and Easter Monday – 10th and 13th April 2020

Good Friday is the day to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ but it is not officially a public holiday in Ireland. Nonetheless, the schools and some businesses will close. This year Good Friday will fall on the 10th of April.

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 – 4th of May, 1st of June and 3rd 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 International Workers’ 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 organize a small trip abroad!

Last Monday of October – 26th 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 search of 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 26th. 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 Christian 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 Wren Day. On this day, people follow the tradition of dressing up in straw hats and clothes and going door by the door with fake wrens, dancing, singing and playing music.


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