Ireland loves its festivals, from holy to lyrical, from tasty to traditional. St Patrick's Day is celebrated nationwide, with Dublin's revelries lasting five days. Even the tiniest town will have a parade featuring local kids in costume and charmingly ad hoc floats. Laugh it up at June's comedy fest in Kilkenny then ignore the impenetrable plot and celebrate Joyce's Ulysses on Bloomsday, every June 16th. It shouldn't surprise that music inspires countless celebrations, including the unmissable Willie Clancy Summer School in County Clare with its dozens of trad sessions featuring Ireland’s best folk musicians. Bivalves get the royal treatment (on the half shell) at Galway's August oyster festival.