If you're planning on visiting Ireland this spring, then now is the time to plan out your itinerary. Ireland is a country that is rich in cultural attractions, so you will have plenty to see. Here are four things you can enjoy while on vacation.
Have Fun At A Traditional Seisiún
If you want to hear traditional Irish music, then you should check out a seisiún. The term seisiún is the Gaelic word for session. It refers to an informal musical performance that is held at a pub. These performances are held in pubs all over Ireland. The performers will bring their instruments and play a set of classic Irish songs. The performers play instrumental songs (Jigs, Reels, and Hornpipes), and also often sing famous Irish folk songs (Whiskey In The Jar, The Irish Rover, or Dirty Old Town) as well.
Attend Political Theater
While many people associate Irish theater with George Bernard Shaw, there are many other fantastic playwrights to experience. Irish theater has a particularly rich history of political playwrights. Many of these playwrights explored the conflict between English occupation and the Irish Republican movement. If you are visiting Dublin, you will find theaters that perform these plays. They are both artistically important and historically informative. Some plays to look for include Juno and the Paycock, The Plough and Stars, and The Hostage.
Visit The Aran Islands And Hear Irish Language In Action
The Aran Islands are a small grouping of islands off the west coast of Ireland. They are accessible to tourists by boat. There is a small community of fishermen and craftsmen who live there who speak mainly traditional Irish. These islands are the birthplace of the famous Aran sweater that has become popular all over the world.
The islands have small bed and breakfast style lodgings for visitors who wish to spend the night. Aside from the amazing landscape of the island, there are also many historic attractions including ancient forts, churches, and stone homes. If you visit one of the little pubs you might find a seisiún where the singers are performing classic songs.
Visit A Castle And Kiss A Stone
A visit to Ireland wouldn't be complete without seeing a castle. While there are many beautiful castles to choose from, only one has the distinction of being rumored to give you "the gift of gab." That one is Blarney Castle. This castle is located near Cork, and dates to the 15th century.
The legend goes that there is a particular stone located in the castle, the Blarney stone, which will grant anyone who kisses it a powerfully persuasive and charming way of speaking (the aforementioned gift of gab). Visitors are known to hang backwards over a parapet to kiss the stone. While you don't have to engage in this ritual, it is a fun and interesting castle nevertheless.