Feast of Irish Culture marks St Patrick’s Day in Bulgaria

On the occasion of St. Patrick Day’s on March 17 2021, the embassy of Ireland in Sofia, with the support of Sofia municipality, is offering visitors and residents of Sofia a “Feast of Irish Culture” exhibition highlighting the cultural wealth of Ireland in more than 40 photographs illustrating its literary, musical, film and architectural heritage, the embassy said.

Visitors can admire notable buildings in Ireland from pre-history to the present day, learn of Irish and international movies filmed in Ireland and become acquainted with traditional musical instruments. The exhibition features not only famous Irish writers, but also the Bulgarian translators, who have made their work accessible to Bulgarian readers.

The exhibition will be officially opened on March 17 at 3pm on Lovers Bridge by the ambassador of Ireland Martina Feeney and the Deputy Mayor for Culture of Sofia Municipality Todor Chobanov (subject to change depending on the weather).

The embassy is also hosting a Virtual Reception with remarks from Feeney and Ireland’s Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. The reception will also celebrate Ireland’s culture, showcasing musicians and dancers both young and old, modern and contemporary. The reception begins at 5.30pm, and can be watched at  https://ireland.ie/bulgaria.

In addition, to mark this very special Irish day, a number of buildings will be lit up in green: the National Palace of Culture, Sofia Opera and Ballet, National Library St. St. Cyril and Methodius, Sofia City Library. The Clock house in Tryavna, Art Gallery in Vidin, Veliko Turnovo University and the municipality building in Rousse will also join the initiative.

Lighting the buildings in green is part of the Global Greening Initiative which celebrate its 11th anniversary in 2021. Over 450 iconic buildings around the world are lit up in green for St. Patrick’s Day. 

The Sofia International Film Festival will show three Irish films over March – “Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane McGowan”, “To the Moon”, and the Oscar-nominated “Wolfwalkers”. More information on the films and how to get tickets can be found on the SIFF’s website.

St. Patrick was  Christian missionary who is the patron saint of Ireland. Legend says that he was born around 385. He travelled to Ireland in 432 where he converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. St. Patrick is credited with using the three-leaf shamrock plant to explain the holy trinity to the Irish people. The shamrock has become the informal symbol of Ireland and all things Irish.

(Archive photo of Sofia City Library in 2020: Embassy of Ireland)

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