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Easter in Ireland

Quick Facts

Easter Sunday is an occasion for Christians to celebrate Jesus' resurrection, which occurred after his crucifixion according to Christian belief.

Local names

NameLanguage
EasterEnglish
Domhnach CáscaIrish
OstersonntagGerman

Easter 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015
List of dates for other years

Easter Sunday (Domhnach Cásca) is an occasion for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection, which occurred after his crucifixion according to Christian belief. Many people in Ireland spend the day with family and friends.

A very young lamb

A young lamb, pictured above, is one of the symbols of Easter in Ireland.

©iStockphoto.com/© Petrache Alexandru Mihai

What do people do?

Many Christians attend a special church service on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Jesus' resurrection. Many churches have stained glass windows positioned to catch the early morning sun at this time of the year. Hence, the main church service may be timed to coincide with sunrise.

Many people join close friends and family members after the church service for a traditional Irish meal of roast meat with potatoes, vegetables and stuffing. After the meal, people, especially children, receive and eat Easter eggs. This meal may be particularly festive, as some people choose to eat no meat or sweets between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Public life

Public life is generally quiet on Easter Sunday. As on all Sundays, banks, post offices and many businesses and organizations are closed. Stores and pubs may be open or closed, even if they are usually open on Sundays. Public transport usually runs to a normal Sunday timetable and congestion is unlikely.

Background

From the earliest times, people in Ireland have marked the start of spring. They celebrated that the land had once again become fertile, birds began to lay eggs again and baby animals were born. When Christianity was introduced to Ireland, around the time St Patrick lived, many of these customs became connected with the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion, which is commemorated on Good Friday. Hence, the pagan beliefs around the rebirth of nature joined with the idea of Jesus' resurrection.

Symbols

Young lambs, spring flowers, eggs and birds are symbols of Easter in Ireland. As in many other countries, Easter eggs made of chocolate or candy are popular. Irish Easter eggs are generally about 12 to 20 centimeters (five to eight inches) tall and made of hollow chocolate. They are often wrapped in brightly colored foil. Many are filled or packaged with small solid chocolate eggs or other candies.

Traditionally, people wear new clothes on Easter Sunday. Some young girls wear green hair ribbons, yellow dress, and white shoes. Others may pin little crosses made of green, yellow and white ribbons on their right sleeves. These colors and new clothes signify purity and a new start to life.

About Easter in other countries

Read more about Easter.

Easter Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
SunApr 151990EasterObservance
SunMar 311991EasterObservance
SunApr 191992EasterObservance
SunApr 111993EasterObservance
SunApr 31994EasterObservance
SunApr 161995EasterObservance
SunApr 71996EasterObservance
SunMar 301997EasterObservance
SunApr 121998EasterObservance
SunApr 41999EasterObservance
SunApr 232000EasterObservance
SunApr 152001EasterObservance
SunMar 312002EasterObservance
SunApr 202003EasterObservance
SunApr 112004EasterObservance
SunMar 272005EasterObservance
SunApr 162006EasterObservance
SunApr 82007EasterObservance
SunMar 232008EasterObservance
SunApr 122009EasterObservance
SunApr 42010EasterObservance
SunApr 242011EasterObservance
SunApr 82012EasterObservance
SunMar 312013EasterObservance
SunApr 202014EasterObservance
SunApr 52015EasterObservance
SunMar 272016EasterObservance
SunApr 162017EasterObservance
SunApr 12018EasterObservance
SunApr 212019EasterObservance
SunApr 122020EasterObservance

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2014 in Ireland

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