2013 is the year of The Gathering, a year like no other. To celebrate this, the island of Ireland has gone record-breaking crazy…
The Gathering has brought out a strange desire in the Irish to become world record-breakers. From Armagh to Cork, Galway to Dublin, strange and bizarre records are being smashed.
Since the dawn of time people have strived to be the best; to do something bigger and better than anyone else in the world. We call these feats world records. And, as we’ll find out, some attempts are nobler than others.
Longest time holding your breath underwater may seem more impressive than, say, the world record for most jellybeans up a nose. But no matter what the record, they all end up in one place: The Guinness Book of World Records (turns out Guinness isn’t just for drinking).
Within its pages you can find a record for just about anything. Did you know Ashrita Furman of the US holds the record for furthest distance walked with a pool cue balanced on his chin? 1,668m to be exact. Or the Thai lady who spent 33 days living with 5,320 scorpions. Yikes! Animals can be record breakers, too. Golden-retriever Augie holds the world record for most tennis balls held in dog’s mouth. FIVE tennis balls. Good boy, Augie.
In 2013, Ireland is getting in on the act. Riverdancing by Dublin’s River Liffey and bearded men (and women!) in Galway is just the start. Welcome to the wild world of The Gathering’s record-breakers.
Irish record breakers
Take the largest Irish band world record attempt that’s happening in County Clare. With Kilfenora and Clare synonymous with traditional Irish music, what better place for trad musicians from Ireland and abroad to gather and smash the record for worlds largest Irish band? If you’re a musician yourself, there’s still time to become part of this historic event. The Gathering website has all the information you’ll need to join the fun.
Thinking outside the box comes naturally to the Irish. This is evident in our next Gathering world record: Calling all Claires. The setting was County Clare (where else!), this record sought to gather all the Clares, Claires and Clairs in the beautiful Ennis Cathedral, just to hang out and revel in their Clare-ness. A record like this may not have the drama of live scorpions, but it can’t be beat for community spirit and great fun.
Being honest, though, the main aim of many Gathering world records hasn’t been to smash a world record, but to have the craic (fun) trying. The Town of a Thousand Beards wanted to gather furry-faced men in Ballymoe, County Galway. Now, they didn’t break the record. But do you think any of those hairy folks cared at the end of the day? So many new friendships were made, so many songs were sung and beards admired. Who needs a record when you’re making memories like that.
Riverdance world record attempt
Now for the big one. On Sunday 21 July nearly two thousand people from 44 different countries came together to smash the world record for longest Riverdance line. Did they do it? Find out here.
The Gathering has been magical year for all in Ireland. Thanks to the heroic efforts of some, it's been a record-breaking year, too.