In 1903, St Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland, the same year that marked the country’s first St Patrick’s Day parade, which was held in Waterford in 1903. The first official, state-sponsored St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin didn’t take place until 1931. And between 1927 and 1961, the sale of alcohol was completely banned on the day. Some holiday.

Thus, the St Patrick’s Day as we know it today didn’t really take root in Dublin until the mid-1990s. In 1996, the day was officially transformed into a festival (encompassing other activities besides a parade). And by 2009, it had metastasized into a 5-day marathon, drawing over 1 million visitors to the capital.

These sets of images were taken during the build-up to the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin over the last few years. While the parade itself is well- (or even over-) documented by the mainstream media and amateur photographers, the photographs here focus on the people who attend the event and the backstreets that come off the main thoroughfares. Thus, the project emphasizes all the oddities and forgotten moments that result from such a mass gathering of people and would-be revellers, in the moments before and after the celebration.

—LensCulture