7 April 2023

Easter in Ireland

We are back with another blog post for you this week, and it’s Easter themed!

Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate the end of Winter and welcome the warmth of Spring. Flowers blossom and days start to get longer as we approach Summer. Easter is going to fall on the 9th of April this year.

Easter is an important religious festival and cultural holiday, the most important time of year for many Christians around the world. Originally, this practice commemorated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but is now celebrated by the religious as well as the non-religious. 

In Ireland, Easter is an important holiday as loads of Irish are predominantly Catholic. For most families Easter is seen as a time of the year to celebrate their religion and the advent of spring with their family, and kids love it purely for the chocolate egg hunt.

There are different Irish Easter traditions you might take part in depending on your own family, so we thought you would be interested to know more about them ahead of Easter sunday this weekend.

Today we’re going to tell you about some of our favourite Irish Easter traditions, myths and legends to give you a look into Irish culture!

Religious traditions

The first lead-up celebration of Easter is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the season of Lent. People with strong religious beliefs will start forty days of prayers, fasting and abstinence until Easter Sunday, giving up something they love such as sweets, alcohol or using social media.   

Good Friday, commemoration the crucifixion of Jesus, is considered as a day of rest and Christian worship. According to the Bible,  Easter Sunday is the day Jesus Christ was resurrected and came back to life. Families gather, dress up in new clothes and attend mass in the morning. Then they have a huge feast with all the food they couldn’t have during the lent such as meat, fish or sweets.

Food traditions

The Chocolate egg tradition is the most popular of all Easter traditions. In Ireland, Chocolate eggs are enjoyed on Easter Sunday, they are given to the kids once lunch or dinner is finished. Irish people eat approximately 17.5 Million eggs annually, that’s a lot of chocolate. 

In Ireland, it’s the Easter bunny which hides the chocolate eggs around the house or  in the garden and the children must hunt for them. 

Hot Cross buns are sweet and sticky little cakes marked with a cross which symbolises the significant day in Christian faith when Jesus was crucified.  They are eaten every Good Friday and depending on the stories. The spices and dried fruits in it represent the spices used to embalm Christ after his death or in old days, were a symbol of plenty and prosperity. It’s not all about desserts however, Easter Sunday dinner is also very important to us and usually consists of meals like a roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes, vegetables and leek soup.

Irish legends and superstitions

The term “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess of Spring, Eostre, always illustrated surrounded by animals such as birds or bunnies, eggs and flowers symbolising fertility and plenty.

– The Cake Dance is a unique tradition in Ireland which consists of gathering families on Easter Sunday for a night party of dancing and festivities to celebrate the conclusion of Lenten abstinence. A cake (usually a barmbrack, a cake made of dried fruits) was  predominantly placed in the centre of the room, music people would dance around the table with music.

The 1916 Easter Rising

This political event was a rebellion against British rule which took place on Easter Sunday 1916 and is now commemorated each year, most notably by the recreation of the reading of the Irish proclamation of independance that happeneded on that day. The commemoration is held in Dublin’s Garden of Rememberance each Easter Sunday.

As you can see, either religious or not, you can celebrate Easter your own way. Easter in Ireland gathers communities and families around special meals, parades and chocolate. Celebrating Easter is the Irish way to learn more about this fascinating culture. You can take advantage of this long weekend to travel and have time to visit the country. You can also rest and enjoy the first rays of the sun

If you’d like to be out and about in Cork this Easter weekend there will be plenty going on in the city.

Here are the upcoming events for the Easter weekend: 

Easter Beer Fest at Franciscan Well Pub the 7th & 8th April

Live music all over Cork, you can check out the live gig guide on the Whazon magazine by clicking here.

If you’ll be out and about with the little ones, there will be an Easter egg hunt in Lismore Castle and Gardens on Saturday the 8th Apr at 11am. You can get tickets for that by clicking here.

That’s all form us this week, if you guys (especially our students) are out this easter weekend around Cork and take some fun pcitures feel free to tag us @corkenglishcollege and we will reshare.

Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh!