Irish Easter traditions

From the National Museum of Ireland’s Easter Traditions page:

Museum Curator, Clodagh Doyle, explains how people traditionally marked Easter. "People followed the rituals and ceremonies for all the days of Holy Week. They wore a piece of palm that had been blessed in church on Palm Sunday. They cleaned and whitewashed the house, yard, and byre in preparation for this important feastday and they abstained from work on Good Friday. New clothes were made or purchased to wear to Church on Easter Sunday. It was the most favoured time of the year for new clothes and often the only occasion.

In addition to its religious importance, Easter was also a time to protect the family’s health and well-being by eating eggs. The surplus of eggs that accumulated during Lent formed the main food for the Easter Sunday breakfast. Children decorated eggs and played different games with them. (…)

Pieces of meat cut from a joint that had been hung to dry or smoke for the duration of Lent was given to each member of the family on Easter Sunday to protect them from hunger for the coming year. Often a spoonful of Easter holy water was given to each member of the family to protect and bless them. Easter Blessings cards and Prayer cards were popularly given at this time and there are some on display at Turlough Park.

Easter Sunday was celebrated within the family with a welcome meal of meat and dairy produce as they had abstained from eating these during Lent. On Easter Monday there were often sports and races held in the community. Weddings were also popularly celebrated at this time as there were no celebrations permitted during Lent".