It’s the time of year when the flowers begin to blossom, the birds are singing and lambs are running through the fields. You guessed it, Easter is upon us again and the Easter Bunny is getting ready to deliver eggs to all the children!
So what do Irish people do at Easter?
As Ireland’s population is predominantly Catholic, many see Easter as a time of year to celebrate their religion.
- Preparation begins at Lent, forty days prior to Easter Sunday, when people give up something important to them such as sweets or TV. Good Friday is considered a day of rest, when people attend confession. Holy Saturday night brings about the evening Easter Vigil ceremony, and on Easter Sunday the family dresses up in their nice clothes and attends mass in the morning.
- For traditional Irish Easter celebrations, on Sunday the family would take down the “spoilin meith na hlnide”. This Gaelic phrase is used to describe a piece of meat pinned up on the wall during Lent, as a symbol of temptation for those fasting for this period. As per tradition, this is burned on Easter Sunday to give a pleasant smell to the inside of the house.
- Another tradition is the “cludog”. Irish children would collect eggs and roast them on a special device on the farm. The shells would be kept and placed around the bottom of a May bush.
- There are numerous superstitions associated with Easter. Did you know that if a child is born on Good Friday and then baptized on Easter, he or she will have the gift of healing? Or that anyone who dies on Good Friday will go directly to heaven?
For the religious and non-religious alike, the best part of Easter Sunday for many is the eating of the chocolate eggs.
And just how many eggs do Irish people consume each Easter?
A shocking amount!
According to a recent study, up to 40% of Irish kids will receive around five Easter eggs, with one in 10 getting up to 15. And what’s more, in 2015, people spent 36.6 million euro on eggs in Ireland alone. 60% of those who buy eggs will spend up to €30 per egg and the average household will consume eight Easter eggs. That’s a lot of chocolate!
Planning your Easter weekend and still unsure of what to do? For some great ideas on events happening all over the country, please see the following link: http://daysout.ie/easter-egg-hunts/.
Happy Easter from Cork English College!