Easter in Ireland: events and traditions
Although the Catholic religion prevails in the island, Easter is celebrated in Ireland in a humblest form compared to others countries.
Preparation for Easter begins on the first day of Lent, forty days before Easter Sunday. During the period of Lent many people avoid eating meat or sweets, or save money by not drinking alcohol and donating the money to charity. In years gone by the abstinance was even more harsh with people stopping smoking and watching TV. The Irish considered it as a time of reflection to be with family.
Easter Thursday and Friday aren’t public holidays but many buildings and tourist attractions close for Easter or have special reduced hours.
“Good Friday” or Easter Friday celebrates the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Republic of Ireland it is a traditional day of Christian worship but it is not a holiday. The public transport services generally are at their usual times.
The sale of alcohol is prohibited in the Republic of Ireland on Good Friday. Most of the pubs and many restaurants are closed. It can be difficult to find a place to eat out on Good Friday. It is a day of prayer and mourning in preparation for Easter Sunday celebrations.
Places to visit...
It is a good occasion to visit Kilmainham Jail. It is open daily: from Good Friday to Easter Monday. This prison which turned into a museum chronicles the struggle for Irish independence and these dates coincide with the anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916
On Easter Sunday (Domhnach na Cásca) is an occasion for Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which occurred after his crucifixion according to Christian belief. Multitudes of believers attend a special mass on Easter Sunday. After mass, many families and friends gather for a traditional Irish meal of roast beef with potatoes and vegetables After lunch, people, especially children, receive chocolate Easter eggs which are eaten.
A rebellion against British rule began in Dublin on Easter Monday (April 24) in 1916. This rebellion lasted until Saturday, April 29 and was known as the Easter Rising. Hundreds of people, including civilians, were killed. The Easter Rising is now seen as an important point in the struggle for Irish independence.
A military ceremony is held in Dublin on Easter Sunday every year to commemorate the anniversary of the Easter Rising 1916. This year it will be on Sunday April 5th at the Post Office on O’Connell Street, where the President, the Minister of Justice and the Defence and other authorities will be present to give a speech about it. In addition, the Defence Forces have over 350 troops all configurations for the commemorative parade.
The eggs can’t be eaten during Lent. You should avoid the temptation until Easter Sunday. In the Christian religion it was forbidden to eat eggs during Lent since the ninth century. Traditionally eggs were cooked and painted in colors to differentiate them to the fresh eggs. Over time, these colorful eggs have been replaced by chocolate.
More than 5 million chocolate eggs are bought each year in Ireland! In this country it’s traditional that parents hide eggs for the children throughout Sunday.
(April 6, 2015)-EASTER MONDAY
In the past, Easter celebrations often lasted a week from Easter Sunday. This period is known as Easter Week. However, this tradition was largely extinct in the mid-1800s Act 1871 officially designated holidays Easter Monday as a holiday.
Banks, post offices and many other businesses and organizations are closed. However, shops and bars are open, but they can open later and close earlier than usual.
Monday is a holiday for leisure and fun. During this day various fairs and sporting events are held throughout Ireland. The most important is the Boylesports Irish Grand National.
It is a festival during Easter with entertainment for the whole family for 3 days, from Sunday 5th to Tuesday 7th April. Live music, children’s entertainment, shopping area, best dressed ladies Day, and most famous, horse racing with wagering held at Fairyhouse Racecourse, just outside Dublin.
Over 16,000 people came to watch the race on Easter Monday in 2014 and another great crowd is expected for the year 2015. All information on the festival here: http://www.fairyhouse.ie/Fairyhouse/Irish-Grand-National/BoyleSports-Irish-Grand-National-Weekend-2015/
*Our school will open every day except Monday April 6th. Enjoy your Easter holidays and come to study English and discover Ireland with us! HAPPY EASTER!
Greetings from the team at Travelling Languages…Your language school on the road.