It’s been estimated that about 500,000 people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the streets of Dublin. There has been a massive pull for tourists to travel to Ireland called ‘The Gathering.’ And gather they did.
I was lucky enough to have 8 of my good friends visit me during this infamous celebration. Although it was difficult at times to plan everything out together, we somehow made it work. On St. Paddy’s Day (not Patty’s: the Irish are adamant about that) we all headed to the parade that was located in the busiest part of Dublin. It was almost impossible to push our way through the blaringly green crowd so we formed a chain and snaked our way past Trinity College to the River Liffey. The sight was astounding. Everywhere we looked there were people dressed head to toe in green. Some people were even standing high on window ledges to get a better look at the parade.
It’s no surprise that so many visitors showed up this weekend, considering the Irish diaspora spreads out to about 80 million people across the globe. Although St. Patrick’s Day was created in honor of Saint Patrick bringing Christianity over to the island, many people just use it as an excuse to come together and celebrate their Irish heritage.
Unfortunately, with the influx of tourists, pick-pocketers went on a hunting spree, grabbing anything they could, especially targeting women with iPhones. One of my friends who kept her iPhone in her purse got it snatched without even realizing it, along with 40 other women at that same pub. It’s a shame that tourists have to get targeted considering they are pouring money into the economy, but that’s why I try so hard to keep my belongings safe and hidden because you never know what could happen.
Even with the ups and downs, it was great seeing my friends in the city that I love. It was like I was at home away from home. They ate fish ‘n’ chips and tried Guinness at the factory, becoming Guinness pouring specialists. I was so happy to integrate them into the life I’ve lived for the past couple of months. They had a once in a lifetime experience while being a part of this celebration that is so widely known throughout the world. And on St. Paddy’s Day, everyone is Irish!