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Easter Traditions in Ireland

Ireland is famous for its myths, legends and traditions, and Easter is no different. Alongside St. Patrick’s Day, Easter is one of the most important holidays in Ireland. Easter in Ireland is a time for both religious and non-religious people to celebrate. Spring has sprung, school kids enjoy time off and a number of traditions begin to take place. Read on to find out some Easter traditions in Ireland…

Pancake Tuesday

Pancake Tuesday, one of Ireland's easter traditions

If you find somebody that doesn’t enjoy Pancake Tuesday, they’re lying. This is one of the Easter traditions in Ireland that everyone loves, and it marks the beginning of the Easter period. Also known as Shrove Tuesday, this is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. In case you haven’t already guessed, the traditional food feasted on Pancake Tuesday is pancakes! Pancakes are traditionally associated with this day because they are a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. It also helps that they’re delicious!

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting and falls on the first day of Lent. Lent is a very important Easter tradition in Ireland and all over the world. For Christians Lent is a time of reflection and preparation before Easter. It lasts for 40 days finishing on Good Friday. During this period, Christians usually give up something, like sweets or chocolate, as a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

Easter Eggs – Easter Traditions in Ireland

Chocolate easter eggs

All over the world people celebrate Easter with eggs, from Easter egg hunts to egg painting, and Ireland is no different. If you ask any Irish person what their favourite Easter tradition in Ireland is, most people will say giving and receiving Easter eggs! From a non-religious perspective, the egg is a symbol of new life and associated with Spring. While from a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ resurrection. Easter eggs in Ireland are egg shaped chocolates which are given to kids (both big and small!) on Easter Sunday. There’s no denying Ireland loves them, with a whopping 5 million being sold every year!

Easter Rising

Easter traditions in Ireland

Many people in Ireland also associate Easter with the 1916 Easter Rising. Also known as the Easter Rebellion, this was an armed attempt by Irish Republicans to gain independence for Ireland from British Rule. The 1916 Easter Rising occurred on Easter week and there are often commemorations for the Irish that participated in the fight for independence around Ireland over Easter time each year.

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