The Irish Association of Korea’s St. Patrick’s Day festival runs this Saturday at D Cube Plaza in Seoul, with this year’s event broadening to include more family-friendly activities and opportunities to experience Irish culture.
There will be live performances of Irish music and dance, with performers including Bard, Sweet Murphy’s Fancy, Dara Sheanan and Tap Pung, with an open invitation for audience members to join in the dancing in front of the stage.
This year’s event will have an added “village” area with a chance to try Irish food and cultural activities to make for a more rounded and relaxed festival.
|A performer plays a bodhran at last year’s St. Patrick’s Day festival in Sindorim, Seoul. (Tom Coyner)|
“We’ve extended the whole festival itself to include an area for trad music and an area for storytelling. The dancers are going to do some lessons. We are going to put instruments out so that people can try them out,” said Shauna Browne of the Irish Association of Korea. “There will musicians there who will show them how to do it.”
The storytelling is geared toward kids, Browne explained.
“We’ll have a Korean volunteer and an English volunteer, so it will be bilingual,” she said, explaining that the area would be like a children’s tent, with face painting, arts and crafts and other children’s activities.
“They can also try some dancing because there’s two dancers going up to the village just to teach children individually or in small groups how to do it,” she added.
A costume competition has also been added to encourage festival goers to get decked out in green, and the top prize for this year’s raffle will be a pair of flight tickets to Dublin.
Later on there will be a Hooley at the Bull and Barrel in Itaewon, with two floors of music. Downstairs will stage live bands, while upstairs will be an open session for trad music.
“Anybody who plays Irish traditional music can just go up and join,” said Browne, but she asked that, while it wasn’t essential, those bringing instruments email firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know.
The main festival takes place Saturday from 12:30-5 p.m. at D Cube Plaza near Sindorim Station. The Hooley then takes place from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
There is no charge for the festival itself but entrance to the Hooley is 10,000 won.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com