There is no shortage of events taking place to help you kick start 2013. Hit the high notes at a music festival, have a flutter at the race track or visit an interesting exhibition. There are lots of ways to keep that holiday feeling going, all month long. Let guide you!

Make an Exhibition of Yourself!
There are an abundance of interesting exhibitions on in Ireland this month. Take your pick and plan a break around visiting one. The Model in Sligo is hosting ‘Into the Light’ (until March 31st), a national showcase of works by over 100 Irish artists to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Arts Council.

The South Tipperary County Museum are hosting a photographic exhibition 'Face To Place' in Clonmel (Until February 2nd). This showcases life in South Tipperary in the 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Donal Wylde as well as Terry Murphy’s panoramic images of South Tipperary’s beautiful countryside.

Visit Dublin and take in the remarkable Chester Beatty Library ‘Sacred Traditions’ exhibition with sacred texts, illuminated manuscripts and miniature paintings from the world’s great religions including Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Hit the Right Note!
Beat the January blues by hitting a high note rocking at a music festival! The Shannonside Winter Music Weekend in Sixmilebridge (January 17th – 20th) has more than 70 events at 15 locations spanning 10 musical genres.

Without missing a beat, the Temple Bar’s TradFest (January 22nd) promises to be the biggest and best yet, featuring some of the country’s top traditional musicians as well as film screenings, master classes, Irish dancing, pipe bands and street performers.

And if classical music is your thing head west to the Town Hall Theatre in Galway City for the Music For Galway Mid-Winter Festival (January 25th – 27th) which celebrates Beethoven. An impressive international cast will perform piano solos, trios, songs and Irish poems put to music by Beethoven, including the Osiris Piano Trio, soprano Charlotte Riedijk from the Netherlands Irish clarinettist Paul Roe and Irish tenor Robin Tritschler.

Tread the boards!
Take a break in Dublin and go to the theatre. A wonderful treat in the dark days of January! The acclaimed dramatisation of James Joyce ‘The Dead’, directed by Joe Dowling, runs in The Abbey Theatre (until January 19th). You can also join in a tour of the Abbey, and get an exclusive insight into the history and behind the scenes workings of Ireland’s national theatre.

The sell-out stage version of the best-selling, heart-warming book, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, is back due to popular demand for one week (January 14th – 19th) at The Gaiety Theatre. This will lift your spirits going into the New Year. For ideas of things to do whilst in the capital see

Celebrate St Brigid
February 1st marks the official start of Spring, and is the day when we celebrate one of Ireland’s greatest Saints. St. Brigid’s Day starts early in Kildare Town with the Feile Bride, Brigid’s Festival, (January 27th to February 3rd). It celebrates her legacy with music, workshops, a peace conference and a candlelight pilgrimage to St. Brigid’s Well, with the chance to weave a St. Brigid’s cross too.

Dundalk in Co. Louth hosts the Brigid of Faughart Festival (January 30th – February 3rd), a celebration of Brigid as both goddess and saint. Activities here include poetry, music and lectures as well as a pilgrimage walk from Dundalk Town to Faughart Shrine.

Back to School in Sligo!
If you need to stimulate the grey matter after all that Christmas TV, check out the Yeats Winter School in Sligo (January 18th – 20th.) This is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our most celebrated poet, his work and background, against the backdrop of the places that inspired him, from Benbulben to Knocknarea. Whilst in Sligo do the Yeats Trail and be inspired!

So go on, banish those winter blues and have a happy January!
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