easter egg and tulipsEaster is an important religious holiday in Ireland’s calendar, this year Easter Sunday falls on 5th April.  Preparation for Easter starts at “Lent”, 40 days before Easter Sunday. During “Lent” Irish people traditionally would stop eating meat but would also quit something they like such as favourite food, alcohol, cigarettes and even television, a lot of people still carry out this tradition. These old Irish traditions for Easter have been carried out for hundreds of years and in some cases a variation of some are still carried out this day

Good Friday

Good Fiday No outdoor work should take place on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday) People attend confession, but also have their hair cut and do a spot of shopping for new clothes. In old Folklore a child born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday will have the gift of healing. It was thought that boys born and baptized on these days should enter the ministry and those who die on Good Friday go straight to heaven.  Most homes will have their Spring Cleaning finished by Easter Sunday in preparation for a visit by the local priest to bless the house. This religious ceremony dates back hundreds of years and is still alive in many rural areas.

Holy Saturday

holy waterIrish people would take a vow of silence and attend a special ceremony to have their Holy water blessed – drink three sips for good luck and sprinkle everything for good luck. The Easter Vigil then starts at 10 pm in the local church – and all lights in the church are traditionally extinguished at 11 pm. Then a new flame is presented to the altar, the Paschal candle as a symbol of the resurrection.

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter Traditionally you would gather your family and go to a hilltop to see the sunrise. Catholics believed that this is the Saviour rising from his grave. After attending mass on Easter Sunday everyone would make their way back home to start the Easter feast which is usually made up of servings of potatoes, vegetables, meat traditionally lamb followed by Easter Eggs for the children.

Easter Eggs

Easter egg basketEggs signify life and were traditionally given to children after dinner and only if the Lent fast was not broken. Today it’s common for families to have an Easter Egg Treasure hunt take place in the morning and some communities have a large organised egg hunt to gather the local children together to celebrate Easter. Why not visit us here in Ireland this Easter and select one of our action packed programmes the English and Riding & English and Surfing programmes will re-open for Easter, March 29– May03.  Contact us for more information