Next year, Liverpool as a city officially becomes 810 years old, and with so much history behind it, it may be considered as one of the major cities in the tapestry of the United Kingdom, with 40% of the world’s trade passing through its docks at times. From its contribution to pop culture through Cilla Black and the Beatles to its status as the second port of the United Kingdom during the 19th and 20th century; Liverpool has continually added to the success of the country. This month, the city aims to celebrate one facet of its history for a fortnight – its relationship to Ireland and Irish immigrants.
Since its establishment in the 13th century, Liverpool and Ireland have continued to be two major points in the UK’s trading network, and many Irish tradesmen travelled to the city as early as the 18th century before the prospect of immigration to America was even fully realised. Due to this and the continued flow of Irish workers to Liverpool, the culture of the city became highly influenced and intertwined with Irish culture and conduct. In celebration of this, Liverpool aims to host a yearly festival which focuses on the close bond between Ireland and Liverpool, which aims to take place for the 13th time this year from the 13th-23rd of October.
On offer this year at the festival may be a wide selection of activities and entertainment, as well as Q&A panels and culinary delights. One such event of interest may be one of the several classes run by the director of Movema, a company which specialises in ceílí dances, teaching set dance and sean-nós tap dancing to visitors. Or, guests may attend one of the Caledonia Irish Sessions on a Tuesday, at which traditional songs are performed by locals, strangers and house musicians alike.
This year also commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the Easter Rising, and whilst the event in itself happened predominantly in Dublin, its echoes were felt across the sea in Liverpool. In addition to a general family celebration scheduled on the 15th of October, the Liverpool Irish festival also aims to provide exhibits exploring Liverpool’s reaction to the 1916 Easter Rising on the day before, shown through documents, photographs and articles.
Liverpool may also have attractions which extend beyond this festival for visitors, offering a variety of culinary, cultural and creative experiences for travellers with a variety of interests. For instance, tourists interested in science may choose to visit Liverpool’s Spaceport, which hosts a variety of events and activities from a planetarium to a roller coaster ride, or those with sportier interests may visit the Liverpool Football Club’s interactive museum, which chronicles the 120 years of LFC history. Be they a music enthusiast or otherwise, travellers may also be drawn to visit The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock, which recounts the life and times of some of the most successful musicians in history. Also in the city is Britain’s largest Cathedral, the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, offering views from 500ft above sea level. To round off the day, visitors to Liverpool may find themselves in one of the city’s many traditional pubs, such as The Red Cat, whose walls seemed to be adorned with tales, legends and history.
Since the academic calendar so recently renewed in September, it may seem challenging for families and friends to maximise travel and culture in England until the next holiday season. However, through events such as this and cross-country travel, individuals may be able to travel to cities like Liverpool in order to take a break whilst learning new cultures and expanding their knowledge.
In what other ways may society encourage and celebrate the amalgamation of cultures?