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Easter and Good Friday in IrelandEaster and Good Friday in Ireland
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Easter and Good Friday in Ireland

Good Friday (AoineanCheasta) is an occasion for Christian, particularly Catholics, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Republic of Ireland, it is a traditionally day to spend with family and friends and Christian worship.It is not a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

History

People in Ireland have marked the start of spring from the earliest time. They celebrate this time as the land once again becomes fertile, birds begin to lay eggs again and baby animals are 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.

Symbol

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.

Celebration in Ireland

On Easter Sunday the families of Ireland do “spring cleaning” to prepare the house for blessings of the priest, which is a religious ceremony. No outdoor work takes place on these days in Ireland as it is treated as a day of rest and preparation of body and soul for Easter.

On Good Friday, people attend confessions asking for forgiveness, have their haircut, nails trimmed and also shop for new clothes to be worn to Easter mass. Eggs are not eaten during the time of Lent presented until Easter Sunday. Eggs are painted with different colors and designs but these days it is replaced with Chocolate Easters Eggs for the children, with over five million being purchased each year in Ireland.

Holy Saturday is a day on which Irish people take a vow of silence. They also attend a special ceremony to have their Holy water blessed but which starts at 10 pm known as the Easter Vigil.The Church is decorated in purple colored banners to celebrate the arrival of the King. All lights in the Church are extinguished at 11pm with a new flame being presented to the altar of the church which is a Paschal candle, a symbol of the Risen Christ and the celebrations of the Holy Flame.

Easter Sunday too is religious day in Ireland. Families get together dressed in their new clothes and attend mass together in their local church.

After attending mass on Easter Sunday, everyone starts the Easter feast with servings of potatoes, vegetables, meat, stuffing, and bread to enjoy the evening with Irish feast. The Easter Eggs are always presented to the Children after their traditional Irish Easter dinner and can only be given to a child that has not broken the Lent fast and who has also finished eating a full Easter dinner. Parents usually do not let children do fasting and they enjoy this festival a lot.

SYMBOLS OF EASTERS
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