Easter is an important Irish holiday, with virtually all locals acknowledging the day. Interestingly, although the day does have religious connotations, even those that aren’t religious celebrate the occasion in their own way. This is because there is more to the day than just the religious aspect, with important cultural and historical factors also taken into account.
Aside from the religious associations with the day that date back centuries, Ireland also recognises the Easter Rising. In 1916 a group of local rebels, including Michael Collins, Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, rose up against years of British rule. The Easter Rising marked the start of a long-fought and bitter conflict, which although cost countless lives, ultimately ended with true Irish independence.
For the religious population it all starts on Ash Wednesday. On this day the faithful will attend a unique mass, during which the priest marks the foreheads of attendees with ash. The priest makes a cross, using ash attained from the burning of branches used at the previous Palm Sunday ceremony. The faithful then fast until Easter Sunday, eating only plain foods.
In Ireland, even for those that are not Catholic there are still many traditions. The most popular is Pancake Tuesday. The idea is actually rooted in the old habit locals had of using up all the milk, flour, eggs and butter before the fast.
Pubs and other entertainment venues are also still closed on Good Friday, so non-religious residents use this as an excuse to hold especially raucous house parties. On Easter Sunday the traditional family meal is held, along with the handing out of chocolate eggs.
Regardless of religious affiliations, everyone likes to send happy Easter messages. Though, it can be challenging to find the right words. Here are a few simple ideas that can be sent to loved ones on the special day. Remember; when it comes to happy Easter messages it is the thought that counts above all else.
This is a holiday that is always accompanies by cooking, though it can be challenging coming up with Easter baking ideas. The real trick is to break from the norm and try something completely different. Why not try a themed cheesecake, or a few homemade hot cross buns? What about a few cupcakes topped with crumbled chocolate eggs? Better yet, why not a whole cake topped with a few whole chocolate eggs? Those that really like to take Easter baking ideas to the next level might even try the hot cross bun bread and butter pudding.
This is a holiday that holds a special place for children, but there should be more than just chocolate to keep them busy. Easter arts and crafts are fun, but do take a little effort. Paper plate bunnies are fun and easy, requiring only paper plates, pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and cardboard. As would be expected, the idea is to transform the plate into a bunny face, complete with cardboard ears.
Egg carton bunnies are also a classic, needing just googly eyes, popsicles sticks, pompoms and an egg carton. The special part of this craft is that chocolate eggs can be put in the carton bunny, providing an extra special treat. As with all Easter arts and crafts, make sure than children are supervised, especially if using scissors.
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