This year, Stockholm is set to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like never before with a whopping two weeks of events – from performances by the Irish national choir to the world cup football qualifier between Sweden and Ireland; from charity concerts to the incomparable city parade and céilí.
No-one celebrates in quite the same style as the Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day and being in Stockholm makes no difference to the quality and quantity of celebrating. Saint Patrick’s Day, Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Irish, means so much to so many. For Christians, the day celebrates Saint Patrick as the man who brought Christianity to Ireland; for the more secular, the day is a celebration of Irish culture which is open to all, whether a national or not. And what better year to celebrate the man who is said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland than 2013, the Chinese year of the snake? So grab your green clothing, pop a shamrock in your pocket and join in the great events going on in the city:
Kick off the season with the Swedish Irish Society’s amateur theatre group Spuds and Sill, presenting the world première of Niall Balfe’s social drama about a present-day Irish family in Dublin. The play has a serious nature but is heavily sprinkled with that ever faithful Irish humour which bounces the play along to its final conclusion.
When: Friday March 8th at 7pm, Saturday March 9th at 2pm and 7pm (Performance lasts 2 hours)
Where: Teater Bristol, Sturegatan 39, 172 31 Sundbyberg (T-bana: Sundbyberg)
Cost: 100 SEK; Book here
Ireland’s national choir, Anúna, return to Sweden for the first time since 2011. The group will be incorporating the best of their 25 year catalogue and songs from their new album, Illumination. Led by virtuoso composer Michael McGlynn, Anúna are one of the most original and brilliant choral groups of modern times, blending classical and traditional influences to produce what Billboard magazine described as ‘an enchanting sonic tapestry… legitimate folklore’.
When: Wednesday March 13th at 8pm
Where: Sofia Kyrka, Klefbecks Backe, 11635 Stockholm (T-bana: Medborgarplatsen)
Cost: 200 SEK; Book here (Friends of the Irish Embassy in Stockholm and the Swedish Irish society can avail of a 25% discount by booking directly with Sofia Kyrkan by calling 00 46 8615 31 00 or emailing [email protected] and mentioning the Swedish Irish Society)
Friday 15th March – A Currach Christening
The St Patrick’s Day weekend begins with the launch of the first Currach ever built in Stockholm. The Currach is Ireland’s iconic boat, as much a part of Ireland’s maritime culture as the Viking ship is of Sweden’s. Its maiden voyage from Skeppsholmens Folkhögskola will be celebrated with a naming ceremony and blessing, followed by traditional Irish and Swedish folk music.
When: Friday March 15th at 4pm
Where: Skeppsholmens Folkhögskola, Slupskjulsvägen 12, 111 49 Stockholm (Best way to get here is by bus 65; stop:Moderna Muséet)
Green for the Irish celebration, Madness for the strange mix of forces that have made this event happen and Altitude – which is what Jennie will face going for Mt Everest Base Camp!
“Green Madness in Altitude” is a different St. Patrick’s music event hosted by the Irish singer-song writer Brian Burns and mountaineer Jennie Vavik, to raise money for Childreach International, a charity working for less fortunate children around the world.
The line-up for the evening is fantastic, with musicians like Brian Kramer Band, Burns & Friends, the banjo champions Brian Friel and Brian Carolan, Fanny Holm and many more! Come and celebrate St. Patricks Day with us and with a great mix of nice music, raising money for children without what we consider normal rights – a safe home, teaching, love. Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. Come and help us help these kids to a better future!
When: Saturday March 16th at 7pm
Where: Teater Lederman, Gästrikegatan 13, 113 62 Stockholm (T-bana: Sankt Eriksplan)
Cost: 150 SEK; Book on 08-303094 or e-mail: [email protected]
Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, receives a new Swedish staging, with Ingvar Hirdwall playing the title role. One of the great plays by the Irish Nobel laureate opens at the Stockholm City Theatre on March 16th and runs for several weeks.
When: Saturday March 16th at 8pm
Where: Stockholm Stadsteatern, Beridarbansgatan 5, 111 51 Stockholm (T-bana: T-Centralen)
Cost: 100-200 SEK; Book here
In the week that Ireland takes on Sweden in another make-or-break football encounter comes an opportunity to see the Swedish premiere of Dermot Bolger’s The Parting Glass, a play described by the New York Theatre Review as ‘an exquisite meeting of humour and tragedy’ framed around the Thierry Henry handball which prevented Ireland qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. All proceeds donated to Laura Lynn Foundation and Stiftelsen för Astrid Lindgren Barnsjukhus.
When: Thursday March 21st at 7pm
Where: The Liffey, Stora Nygatan 40, 111 27 Stockholm (T-bana: Gamla Stan)
Cost: 100 SEK
When: Friday March 22nd at 11.30pm and Saturday March 23rd at 10pm
Where: The Liffey, Stora Nygatan 40, 111 27 Stockholm (T-bana: Gamla Stan)
Cost: from 225 SEK, book here.
Saturday *23rd March*- Stockholm’s St Patrick’s Day Parade & Céilí
Stockholm St Patrick’s Day Parade Postponed As Mark of Respect to Princess Lilian. The Parade and Céilí – one of the highlights of the year for Sweden’s two thousand-strong Irish community – will now take place instead on Saturday 23 March, the day after Ireland play Sweden at the Friends Arena.
Stockholm’s St Patrick’s Day parade will include pipers, traditional musicians, wolfhounds and a Currach (see above), alongside St Patrick himself. Beginning at Kungliga Biblioteket at 13.00, the parade will snake its way through the city streets, finishing on Kornhamnstorg, in the heart of Stockholm’s old town, with the Nordics’ largest open-air céilí.
When: Saturday March 16th; starts at 1pm
Where: Starts at Kungliga Biblioteket, Humlegården and finishes at Kornhamnstorg, Gamla Stan
Novelist, dramatist and poet, Dermot Bolger reads from his acclaimed collection The Venice Suite: A Voyage Through Loss, and speaks about his life and work with novelist Ola Larsmo. A special staging of an extract of his play The Parting Glass is performed by Ray Yeates, with music from award winning singer-song writers Donnacha and Diarmuid Bolger.
When: Saturday March 23rd at 6pm
Where: Rönnells Antikvariat, Birger Jarlsgatan 32, 114 29 Stockholm (T-bana: Hötorget)
On March 17th, five days before it hosts the World Cup Qualifier between Sweden and Ireland, Stockholm’s Friends Arena will join dozens of celebrated landmarks around the world by ‘going green’ to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The Arena, which plays host that afternoon to Sweden’s national bandy final, will be green-lit in the presence of thousands of fans during a special half-time show. The event is part of an international campaign coordinated by Tourism Ireland which will see landmarks including the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Sphinx in Egypt, Munich’s Allianz Arena and Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid green lit to mark the global celebration of Ireland’s national day. With the ‘green army’ – Ireland’s legendary football fans – arriving on 22 March, Stockholm is set to ‘go green’ during St Patrick’s Week. At the World Cup Qualifier itself, Burns will be joined on stage by Irish banjo champions Brian Friel and Brian
Carolan. Spectacular Irish dancers from the Irish Dance Project will also perform from their unique program.
When: March 17th and March 22nd
Where: Friends Arena, Råsta Strandväg 1, 169 79 Solna (Best way to get here is the commuter train to Solna Station)
Cost: Free to go green! From 250 SEK for the bandy final; from 300 SEK for the Ireland/Sweden World Cup Football Qualifier.