Culture of Dublin
Like any other country there are customs and traditions which are particular to Ireland.
Irish people have the reputation of being very friendly. Generally people will shake hands when they meet for the first time. Friends will hug or just say hello. Sometimes people will kiss on the cheek if they know each other well. People generally make eye contact because it is a sign of trust and that you are interested in what they are saying.
Sometimes it may seem as if time keeping is not very important in Ireland. Generally when someone arranges to meet you at 8pm this will usually mean 8.15pm or later. Irish people, in general, are very relaxed about time.
People will generally say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, for example, when getting off a bus most people will thank the bus driver.
People also usually queue in line and wait their turn, for example, in a shop.
The exuberant capital of Ireland is very rich in festivals and street celebrations of different kinds, including dance, film, art festivals, food and fun fairs and many, many others. The most splendid and colourful event in early spring is the celebration of St Patrick’s Day, dedicated to the national patron saint. If you happen to sojourn in Dublin in the end of April and beginning of May, pay attention to the triumph of beauty and excitement, called Dublin Dance Festival. For a week or so, thousands gather in the city centre to admire the art of contemporary dance performers from all parts of the globe.
Particularly entertaining is the Children’s Season of the festival, held simultaneously with the main events. A must for fans of classical music is the Handel Festival, carried out annually in honour of the great German composer, narrowly connected with Dublin. One of the more unusual events is the biggest Irish food festival, named Taste of Dublin. Within four days each summer the most prestigious restaurants and the most renowned cooks in the city deliver immense culinary pleasure to more than 30,000 gourmets in the romantic ambience of Iveagh Gardens.
A favourite event for both Dubliners and guests of the capital is the already traditional Culture Night Dublin in September. More than 80 museums, galleries, theatres, cathedrals and cultural institutions of all branches provide a night of free entertainment and discovery for people of all ages and interests. Concerts, exhibitions, workshops, guided walks and a host of indoor and outdoor events provide a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy the diverse cultural life of the Irish capital by night.
Dublin also has a lot to offer to connoisseurs of art and history. A number of magnificent buildings and ensembles, above all cathedrals and government buildings, witness the grandeur of the Georgian epoch. The world-famous Irish castles provide the visitor with a valuable insight into the history of the nation with its secrets and mysteries. Of course, innumerable museums, devoted to even more different themes in all areas of knowledge welcome guests who want to learn anything about Dublin and its culture. Only a small part of those that should be visited at any cost are Chester Beatty Library with its stunning collection of artifacts dating from 2700 B.C. onwards, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery, the City Arts Centre and so on.
When talking about culture and Dublin, we should definitely consider the literature. This city gave birth to some of the most recognized writers of all times. Everyone has heard of the genius Oscar Wilde, the Noble laureates George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and Samuel Beckett, the enchanting Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. All these exceptional figures in the world history have house museums here. The exquisite atmosphere and charm of Dublin have determined the presence of the city in many memorable literary works, like the masterpieces of Jonathan Swift for instance.
Another element not to be missed from the rich cultural life in Dublin is the theatre. Several excellent locations tempt lovers of the visual art with world-class actors and performances. The largest venue is Mahony Hall in the suburb of Glasnevin. The central part of the capital also abounds in well-known theatres, such as the Gaiety, the Abbey, the Olympia and the Gate. Their repertoire features plays by world classics, operas, music performances and other genres almost every day.