Easter in Ireland

Easter in Ireland in the Past

In Ireland preparation for Easter usually begins on the first day of Lent, forty days before Easter Sunday. From the first day of Lent many Irish people stop eating meat or quit something they enjoy such as favourite food, alcohol, cigarettes and even television.

Typical Easter Sunday

Many family homes prepare for Easter Sunday by doing “spring cleaning”, to prepare the house for blessing by the local priest which is a religious ceremony that goes back hundreds of years. On Easter families get together and attend mass together in their local church.
After everyone would return home to start the Easter feast which is usually made up of potatoes, vegetables, meat, stuffing, bread and anything else that makes up a good proper Irish feast.
In the past eggs were not eaten until Easter Sunday and were painted in different colours and designs. These have now been replaced with chocolate Easter eggs which are sold in their millions before Easter. The eggs were given to the children after their traditional dinner and can only be given to a child who had not broken the Lent fast and who has also finished their dinner. However, most parents bent the fasting rules as it was so difficult for children.

Non-religious traditions  

With the decline of the church’s influence in Ireland in recent years it’s important to point out some of the non-religious aspects of Easter as well.
In the past the pubs were closed on Good Friday, but this was changed in 2019, ending an age-old religious tradition.
More than 5 million Easter eggs are sold in Ireland each year. If the weather permits, kids run off in all directions in search of Easter eggs in the great Easter egg hunt.
Easter Monday is a public holiday, and a lot of people get Good Friday off too nowadays. Thus, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with family friends.

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