St. Patrick’s Day is this Thursday, March 17th. Instead of celebrating the holiday the usual way (drunk in a pub – don’t deny it!), why not try embracing some authentic Irish culture for a change? Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland is a five-day festival, from March 16-20th, in honour of the city’s Irish community. Learn how to dance an Irish jig, eat Irish food, listen to Irish music, or even an ancient story or two (and yes, you’ll still get to drink Guinness).
The festival’s events are held throughout the city. Some noteworthy ones:
On Wednesday laugh yourself silly at The Three Sisters’ comedy night, which will feature some of the best stand-up comedians from Ireland. Starts 9:30 p.m.
On Thursday, St. Patty’s Day, watch the best of Ireland’s traditional sports – Hurling and Gaelic Football – live on a big-screen TV at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street at 1 p.m.
In the evening move on to the Voodoo Rooms which hosts a night of Irish dancing and music, featuring performances by the Academy of Performance Irish Dance students and the Siamsoir Performance Troupe. Five different bands will play throughout the night. The shows start at 6:30 p.m. and will be topped off with a traditional Irish music session at 10 p.m. Tickets are £10. Book at the Siamsoir Web site.
On Saturday go “Riverdancing”, Sign up for an Irish step dancing lesson at, of all places, the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club, 14 Royal Terrace. It’s only £5.00 – to reserve a spot, contact Dianne at 0781 590 8037. Starts 10am.
On Sunday the Irish-Scottish band The Whistleblowers will bring down the house at Finnegan’s Wake starting at 10 p.m.