The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is great friendly fun, and as they say ‘the craic is mighty in Lisdoonvarna'. For information on visiting the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival during your vacation in Ireland,or if you would like more information about Ireland, our self drive Ireland vacations, escorted coach tours or activity vacations please contact one of our Ireland based Guides who can provide you with a free quote. Festivals to see on your Ireland vacation Belfast Festival at Queens - October One of Ireland's largest international arts, the Belfast Festival at Queens, takes place during the last two weeks of October with a host of internationally renowned acts in theatre, dance, music, comedy, literature and art.
As you plan your , you might be wondering what festivals in Ireland you could attend. Why do we suggest you plan it out? For one, Ireland only has a few major cities. The major festivals in Ireland are held in . Outside of Dublin, quaint villages dominate Ireland, making it difficult to find parking, and/or lodging on a moment’s notice.
Planning ahead will ensure you’ll have a center stage seat in the middle of all the action. Here are the top 10 festivals in Ireland that we recommend: Puck Fair in Killgorin, County Kerry Where else in the world can you see a goat crowned as a king? Located in the heart of county Kerry, Killgorin holds the Puck Fair every August 10th, 11th and 12th. One popular origin of this tale involves a puck (or male goat) who saved the local town from pillaging. When raiders took over the local villages, they found a herd of goats grazing on the mountainside.
Before they could be captured, the goats ran away, with the puck reaching a local village just in time to alert the people of the raiders. Lisdoovarna Matchmaking Festival Traditionally, in September, after the harvest was gathered, it was time for single farmers to find a wife. They did so by attending the Lisdoovarna Matchmaking Festival. It’s become one of the largest singles’ festivals in Ireland. The LGBT version, also held in September or early October, is the in the world.
Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade For the biggest, loudest, proudest salute to St. Patrick, attend the on or around March 17. Note that it is not always held on St. Patrick’s Day, so check your dates on the website before booking your trip to Ireland. You’ll have the chance to witness traditional Irish music, dancing, and taste some of the best beer in the world (obviously!) If you prefer quieter festivals in Ireland, opt for a small village parade instead.
Fleadh Traditional Irish Music Festival The official name is Fleadh Cheoil na hEirann, but it is often shortened to Fleadh for obvious reasons. What you really need to know is that it’s being held in Sligo this August 10 to August 17. The location changes every year, but the traditional Irish music festival always occurs in August. Dublin Horse Festival Also in August, if you’re a fan of equestrian sports like dressing and hunting, this will be your favorite of the festivals in Ireland.
We recommend Ladies’ Day as a must see, where one lucky woman is awarded the Aga Khan Trophy for being the best dressed. (Think Kentucky Derby hats on steroids.) Redhead Convention, County Cork “A whacky festival of ginger-loving madness” as a tagline says it all. In its fifth year in 2014, the convention started as a joke between a redheaded brother and sister. Today, it attracts hundreds of gingers from all over the world. Visit Ireland August 22 to August 24 to attend. (Oh, and if anyone wins the most freckles per square inch contest and/or best red eyebrows portion of the convention, we demand that you immediately send us pictures.
So cool.) Kilkenny Arts Festival In its 40th year, you’ll attend this festival on the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. It was founded by a group of musicians. However, they’ve since expanded to broaden the kind of arts you can experience at the nine day event, August 9 to August 18, 2014. Rose of Tralee Beauty Pageant If you happen to be around during this pageant, you might appreciate attending live the event that shows some of the highest television ratings in Ireland. A glorified beauty pageant, women of Irish decent come from all over the world to compete for the title of Rose of Tralee.
This year, it’s August 16 to August 20, 2014. National Ploughing Championship in County Laois Um, yeah, so, it’s technically an agricultural trade show featuring over 900 exhibitions.
However, there are also 300 competitions worth looking into. As festivals in Ireland go, this would rank as a nod to Ireland’s farming culture, plus a giggle or two. It’s held September 23 to September 25. Galway Oyster Festival Held September 27, 28, and 29 in 2014, you can taste the famous Clarenbridge oyster, along with other seafood delicacies at this festival.
Internationally recognized, you’ll love eating your way through Ireland. As a bonus, you might want to look into the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival held in Dublin each year. This year, it’s September 4 to September 7. Hope to see you there! Filed Under:
best irish matchmaking festival 2018 - A Trip to an Irish Matchmaking Festival
By on Jan 19, 2017 @ 7:42 pm in One thing all Irish people can agree on is that we love a good excuse for a party. When the sun comes out (and even when it doesn’t) we love getting together to have a good time, so naturally we’ve orchestrated several key events to keep us entertained throughout the year – with more and more festivals being added to the calendar every season.
If you wanted to, you could attend some sort of event for virtually anything at some point in the year in Ireland; from theatre to farming to love and everything in between. While 30 or 40 years ago your choices were somewhat limited to county fairs in the summer months and religious celebrations in between, now locals and visitors alike are spoiled for choice on what to do and where to go to get their kicks.
If you’re planning on travelling around Ireland some time this year, you should try your best to check out at least one or two of the festivals from this list. 1. Ted Fest When: February/March Where: Inis Mor, Aran Islands What: Ted Fest, otherwise known as the Father Ted festival, is a four-day long celebration of Ireland’s favourite television sitcom.
Just finished it’s 10 year anniversary, it takes place every year on the biggest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mor, which was used as the location for the fictional home of Father Ted and his companions, Craggy Island. The festival has the same wacky sense of humour as the show it’s based on and often holds events directly taken from certain episodes such as the Lovely Girls competition and the Craggy Cup.
You don’t have to know everything about Father Ted to enjoy the festivities, although it certainly helps. 2.
St. Patrick’s Day When: March 17th Where: Nationwide What: As most people already know, St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of Ireland’s patron saint, by Irish and non-Irish people alike. While the parades in many US cities with large Irish populations are definitely larger in scale, the celebrations in Ireland are without a doubt the best of the bunch. The St. Patrick’s Festival usually runs for a few days before and after the day itself, with various cultural events like traditional music and dancing showcases, street carnivals, funfairs, and much more.
The day itself is marked by a parade through the city in the morning followed by celebrations that last well into the night. 3. Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) When: March Where: Dublin City What: Every year the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival becomes bigger and more prestigious. Currently in it’s 12th year, 2015’s JDIFF saw film greats walk the streets of the city for ten days, various Irish and European premieres take place in the city’s cinemas, question and answer sessions held with industry leaders, and a host of other glitzy and glamorous events.
Some of the big names participating in the festival included Kim Cattrall, Alan Rickman, Kenneth Branagh, Aidan Turner, Russell Crowe and Dame Julie Andrews – and next year is already gearing up to attract equally respected and well known figures. 4. Kilkenny Cat Laughs When: May/June Where: Kilkenny City What: Since 1995 the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival has been bringing belly laughs to the medieval city of the midlands.
Now in its 21st year, the festival has a widely respected international reputation and brings stand-up comedians both from Ireland and much further afield to Kilkenny for five days of fun and frolics. Attendees always say the best thing about the festival is that both newcomers, big names and veterans are all given equal footing. Every Irish comedian you can name will be there this year, as well as plenty from the UK and more exotic locations too. 5. Bloomsday When: 16th June Where: Dublin City What: celebrates all things James Joyce related, but particularly his seminal work Ulysses, which follows protagonist Leopold Bloom (hence the name) around Dublin for a day as he meets various characters and contemplates various aspects of life.
The events of the novel take place on 16th June 1904, which is also the day Joyce and the love of his life, Nora Barnacle, went on their first date. Although celebrations take place all over the world, Dublin is by far the most popular location because the route Bloom takes through the city is still intact.
Fans retrace his steps while reading passages from the book in costume, and indulge in the various delicacies and treats mentioned in the book before and after. Image Source: The Ireland Network 6.
Galway Races When: July Where: Galway Racecourse What: For seven consecutive days at the end of July people from all over the country descend on Galway city for a week of horse racing. Each day there are a series of fixtures with hopefuls from across Ireland and the UK competing. Almost as important however are the other events that take place during the week.
Ladies Day sees knowledgeable judges wander through the crowd in search of the best dressed lady, who is bestowed with luxurious prizes, while Family Day allows children in for free to enjoy fun activities and the bonkers Mad Hatter competition (the most creative hand-made hat wins a prize).
7. Galway International Arts Festival When: July Where: Galway City What: Immediately before the Galway Races is the Galway International Arts Festival, which sees arty types from all walks of life arrive in the city for two weeks of performance, music, visual art and discussion. In past years just some of the big names who have appeared at the festival include Blondie, Primal Scream, David Gray and Joni Mitchell, as well as some of the leading dance companies and artists.
This year some of the more well known names in the line-up include Sinead O’Connor and Damien Rice, with many more yet to be announced. 8. Orangemen’s Day When: 12th July Where: Northern Ireland What: Orangemen’s Day takes place on 12th July every year and is a commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne, which saw the forces of William of Orange and King James fight one another in 1690.
This epic battle is symbolic of the sectarian struggles that have taken place in Northern Ireland since then, so each year members of the Orange Order parade through the towns and cities of the North with marching bands and pageantry. While in previous decades parades were sometimes marred with violence, these days it’s perfectly safe to attend provided you do so respectfully.
9. Rose of Tralee International Festival When: August Where: Tralee, Co. Kerry What: The Rose of Tralee is a celebration of Irish culture by women with Irish descent from all over the world (including Ireland, obviously). Currently in its 56th year, the main event of the festival is the selection of one of these women as the Rose of Tralee during a televised pageant in which they reveal their Irish roots, life accomplishments and many varied talents.
If you think it sounds like another generic beauty pageant, you couldn’t be more wrong! The crowned Rose spends the next year travelling around the world working with humanitarian organisations, young people, and attending important Irish events.
10. Dublin Horse Show When: August Where: RDS Arena, Dublin City What: The Dublin Horse Show is a yearly equestrian wonder that involves show jumping, dressage, showcases and exhibitions by horse breeds and riders from all ages and places.
Whether you have an interest in horses or not it makes a great family day out with live music, craft and food fairs, fashion competitions, kid’s activities, and much more. The show runs over five days and culminates in the nail-biting battle for the Aga Khan trophy, during which riders must jump their horses over fences that continually increase in height.
11. Electric Picnic When: September Where: Stradbally, Co. Laois What: Electric Picnic is the biggest and best music festival in Ireland, and takes place every September in the surrounding grounds of Stradbally Hall in Co. Laois. It draws huge crowds each year and many high profile musical acts – this year’s headlining act is Floreance and the Machine, followed by Underworld, Manic Street Preachers, George Ezra, and many other top quality acts.
Electric Picnic prides itself on being much more than a music festival however, with comedy shows, spoken word performances, art exhibitions, food demonstrations, craft areas, and even a circus in the grounds too!
12. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival When: August to October Where: Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare What: The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking festival is the largest singles event in Europe. It started many decades ago when the small seaside town in county Clare became a popular holiday destination for farmers and other rural workers. The tradition of matchmaking had long existed in Ireland before that, so Lisdoonvarna naturally became a hub for it after the busy harvest period.
Nowadays there is only one matchmaker left, Willie Daly, who runs the festival by noting profiles of every hopeful single in his matchmaking book and find their perfect partner over the course of the week. Various music, dancing and other suitable social events take place throughout the festival, with an emphasis on traditional Irish set dancing and music.
13. Puck Fair When: August Where: Killorglin, Co. Kerry What:The Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, taking place for over 400 years (and those are just the years there is documented evidence for).
For reasons long forgotten, a wild mountain goat is caught and led down to the town of Killorglin in Kerry and crowned as their king during a coronation ceremony and parade.
The three day fair celebrating the king of Puck includes a horse market, cattle market, fireworks, storytelling, traditional music and dancing, and much more. 14. National Ploughing Championship When: September Where: Ratheniska, Co.
Laois What: Another of Ireland’s more unusual festivals is the National Ploughing Championship, which takes place at the end of the harvest season (usually the end of September). It started in 1931 to settle an argument about who was Ireland’s best ploughman, and is now one of the biggest agricultural events in the country with over 200,000 attendees each year. As well as the ploughing championship itself, there is also various exhibitions such as dog trials, food fairs, machinery and livestock, children’s crafts and activities, and much more.
If you decide to take the trip to Co. Laois to attend, prepare for lots of traffic (much of it tractors) and don’t forget your wellies! 15. Cork Jazz Festival When: October Where: Cork City What: The Cork Jazz festival was founded by Jim Mountjoy in 1978, who at the time was a marketing manager of a high profile hotel in Cork troubled by falling guest numbers.
His solution for filling his hotel for the weekend turned into a critically acclaimed festival and is still going strong today. The city fill with the sounds of jazz for the weekend with top performers from Ireland and all over the world hitting the music venues for sometimes mind-blowing shows.
Last year saw Imelda May, The Renegade Brass Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and many more top class acts take to the stage.
The Maryland Irish Festival is presented annually by Irish Charities of Maryland, a 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization, and is held at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium during the second weekend in November. This annual celebration of Irish culture features local, regional and international Irish music, Irish Dancers, traditional cuisine; cultural exhibits and workshops, and a wide variety of quality vendors of Irish goods. Join us all weekend as we celebrate our Irish culture with great music, food, beer, and do some early Christmas shopping with our fantastic vendors!
We have many Cultural and Historical displays and performances, the well attended “Speaker Series”, and a large dedicated kids play area with bouncy castles, activities, and games. The modest admission fee to the festival goes to support the many charitable causes of our own Maryland Irish community, whose members volunteer their time every year to put on this great event. It’s a family affair, so come out, have fun and be part of this great charitable endeavor. To make a donation directly to Irish Charities of Maryland, please click the Donate button below.
All donations are fully tax deductible, since we are a 501 (c)(3) charity. Thank you! Thank you for last year; get ready for this year! Thanks to all of you who helped out last year. We had over 80,000 volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery and it was a wonderful day! What a great site to view the cemetery with all of the distributed wreaths!
Plans are now being made for Saturday, December 15, 2018 for the laying of the wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery. Irish Charities of Maryland will be sponsoring a coach bus to “Wreaths In” day. The bus will depart the Timonium Park and Ride at 6:15 AM, arrive at Arlington to take the wreaths from the Wreaths Across America semi-trucks and place them on the graves.
You can purchase a roundtrip bus ticket by clicking on the PayPal button below. No refunds, please. We are requesting your cell number to assist with gathering participants at the conclusion of the event.
Please dress for the weather, and bring gloves. The bus is now at capacity! Thank you for volunteering, and riding with us. It will be a day to remember! Follow us on Twitter: Please visit and “Like” us on
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival 2016