Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Month-long celebration of traditional matchmaking

Matchmaking has long been a tradition in Ireland as people skilled in the art of finding the right person for another try their hands at creating some lasting relationships.  That tradition has become so embedded in the culture of some parts of the island country that in one particular town, Lisdoonvarna, they have a month-long festival celebrating it.  Yes, it’s several weeks of dancing, drinking and having fun based around nothing more than hooking up.


The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival takes place throughout September and into the beginning of October each year.  More than 100,000 people come from around the world to be a part of the festivities and, should the spirits be willing, have fourth-generation, professional matchmaker Willie Daly find the one they should spend the rest of their life (or at least the rest of the festival) with.

The events don’t take place on any fairgrounds or at a specific venue.  Pubs and hotels all throughout the area each lend their facilities to the many matchmaking occasions.  The various events follow a general schedule for the month.  There are dances happening from Monday to Thursday of each week, special dances on the weekends and a racing weekend to start off the month.  The days start at noon each day and run late into the night.

For singles that want to give it a shot, there’s a whole month in which to plan your Ireland vacation.  You can stay for as little or as long as you like and take time on the side to visit some of the many sights around Lisdoonvarna.  There are plenty of people to meet and if you don’t like the pickings one week, you can take off and return later.  Or, if your matchmaking proves to be a failure, you can always come back the following year.  In fact, there are plenty of people who do.


Photo Credit:

Dancing Event 2006 - Danny Burke