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October - Matchmaking Festival, Ireland

IRELAND | Thursday, 17 September 2009 | Views [2035]

Location: Main Street, Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland

Dates: Last Friday in August to first Sunday in October

Level of Participation: 5 – take the opportunity to pick an Irish rose


With its population of about 1000 Celtic citizens, tiny Lisdoonvara (Lisdoon for short) is famous for two things: its spas, which made it a popular Victorian resort, and its tradition of basadóiri (matchmakers). For a fee, these Guinness-swilling Cupids would help singletons find a partner. Most of the hopefuls (who were, predictably, men) would bumble nervously into town in September, when the crops were in and they had made enough hay to buy a lady a glass of porter. The Matchmaking Festival provided social events for these lonely-hearted pilgrims, and allowed local personages to keep undesirables away from their daughters.

The festival still features a basadóiri, local horse dealer Willie Daly, as well as amateur horse racing and traditional Irish craic by the pub-load. In keeping with modern mating rituals, it now also includes a speed-dating weekend. Another popular event is the matchmaking country music weekend. The season of setting-up concludes with the ‘Mr. Lisdoonvarna’ and ‘Queen of the Burren’ competition.

Essentials: Most Irish folk have kissed the Blarney Stone, so you’ll need some good patter to impress potential matches, unless you go for that ‘silent type’ appeal.

Local Attractions: Take your new beau to sample the spa waters, although it’s not exactly a vintage-wine-tasting experience.

More Info: www.matchmakerireland.com

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Information provided courtesy of Lonely Planet
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Tags: ireland, matchmaking festival, world festivals

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