Armagh is at the heart of celebrating the life of Patrick and the “Home of St. Patrick Festival” promises a lively and varied showcase of the best culture, music and spirituality. The festival takes place from 6 – 17 March 2020.
Saint Patrick still fascinates as one of the most enduring of all the saints. Renowned for converting Ireland to Christianity centuries ago, his profile remains iconic. It was in Armagh that Patrick began his Christian mission and established the city as the island’s spiritual capital. Today you can capture the essence of a City steeped in Christianity – the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. A place where the spirit of Saint Patrick is embedded in our landscape, building and attractions and where the skyline is beautifully adorned with the magnificence of both our cathedrals.
Follow the footsteps of this great legend for yourself, with a visit to an ancient crypt at Saint Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, dating from 445AD and the burial plot of the great of the Irish High Kings – Brian Boru. Saint Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, originally built in Gothic style in 1840 and famous for its twin spires and triumphant echo of the “Great Bell” is also adorned with opulent marble altars and mosaics that will truly delight.
The festival will provide an unrivalled mix of regional and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy, highlighting the stunning locations where he walked and worked.
With events taking place across the city, visitors can enjoy the work of world – renowned artists and performers providing plenty of musical inspiration. Enjoy Brian Kennedy in concert at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. Experience the early sunlight on St Patrick’s Day itself with an event at Navan Centre and Fort. Composer and presenter John Anderson conducts a celebratory and reflective event honouring Saint Patrick with a range of choirs in the beautiful and contemplative setting of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Enjoy and be inspired by and exhibition by Desmond Kinney featuring calligraphy based on Buile Shuibhne ‘Sweeney Astray’ (Seamus Heaney’s translation of this medieval Irish work). Desmond Kinney is best known for his revival of the technique of working with mosaics through various large-scale murals and public art works, mainly focused on Irish myths and legends.
All ages are catered for at the festival, with candle making for children, storytelling and puppetry and object theatre with the Hedgehog Prince at The Market Place Theatre. On St Patrick’s Day itself both Armagh City Centre will come alive to a colourful St Patrick’s Day Procession, followed by a family fun day in the Shambles Yard. A festival not to be missed!
For further information on how to get here, what Armagh City and the rest of the Borough has to offer and accommodation offers please see visitarmagh.com