|Musicians and guests enjoy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at D-Cube City in Seoul in 2016.
/ Courtesy of the Irish Association of Korea
By John Redmond
The Irish Association of Korea (IAK) will present the 16th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration themed “Visions of Ireland” at D-Cube City in southwestern Seoul, Saturday.
“The IAK wants to share Ireland’s rich culture and Celtic history with the people of Korea and it hopes to achieve this through a feast of Irish dancing, Irish traditional music and audience participation,” the event organizer said in publicity materials.
Founded in 1996, the IAK, a nonprofit organization, promotes Irish culture in Korea by presenting Irish-themed events throughout the year as well as supporting charity projects.
“The IAK wants to share Ireland’s rich culture and Celtic history with the people of Korea and it hopes to achieve this through a feast of Irish dancing, Irish traditional music and audience participation,” it said.
The open-air festival features the traditional and modern sounds of Ireland performed by many talented musical and dance acts, playing a variety of instruments like the Irish tin whistle, the fiddle and the accordion.
“You can watch a fusion of traditional and modern Irish dance performed by award-winning Korean dancers, while also listening to the sounds of old-style Irish singing and Irish-influenced rock music.”
The event will feature plenty of family-oriented and fun cultural activities such as face painting with traditional Irish symbols, demonstrations of Irish sports by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) team and a fancy dress competition based on the “Visions of Ireland” theme.
“For people from Ireland or those of Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a very important time to celebrate a culture familiar to them. St. Patrick’s Day is also a chance for Koreans and those from the wider community to learn and experience something new and exciting,” IAK chairperson Andrew Kilbride said.
On the day, participants will also have the chance to win return flights for two to Ireland, courtesy of sponsors Etihad.
Musicians performing on the day include traditional Irish musicians Jigs and Reels, Ceoiltoiri Seoul and Sweet Murphy’s Fancy as well as folk artists Scott Hildebrand Band and Boss Hagwon.
There will also be a performance by Korean Irish dancing troupe Tap Pung.
St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated at the plaza of Daesung’s D-Cube City, beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until 6 p.m.
Once the entertainment ends, there will also be a St. Patrick’s Day afterparty from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon. This party known as “The Hooley” is a fundraiser for future IAK events and the fun will continue with a mix of live traditional and modern music.
St. Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He is best known for driving the snakes from Ireland. Still to this day there are no snakes in Ireland.
For more information about the IAK, visit facebook.com/irishassociationofkorea or email firstname.lastname@example.org.