Easter is a very special family time in Ireland for many different reasons, the senior people look forward to celebrating the rebirth of Christ, visiting family and friends but for the younger children, it is looking forward to the arrival of the Easter bunny rabbit.
While in normal times there would be many religious celebrations taking place throughout the week, on the streets and in churches, leading up to Easter, but because of coronavirus, in Ireland we not allowed travel more than 5km from our homes and only 5 people are permitted to enter a church, resulting in all of our Easter religious celebrations will now be broadcast on the internet or television.
Easter is always a fun time for our children and this year it will be no different, as they have two weeks holidays from school and normally at Easter time, our weather here in Ireland, starts to get warmer with no more cold weather, snow or ice. As it is a tradition in our country around Easter time, all the people in Ireland move their clocks forward, one hour ahead, to gain an extra hour of daylight so the children have longer playtime outdoors in the evenings
For Irish people, Pancake Tuesday, which is 40 days before Easter is when we start to prepare for Easter on that day, children and adults all gather in the homemaking pancakes, which are filled by such things as, ice cream, honey, chocolate sauce, or any sweet filling that the children want as this will be the last day before Easter Sunday that they will eat sweets, crisps or drink fizzy drinks, like coke cola for 40 days and 40 nights.
While the children know that rabbits do not lay eggs, they also know that the Easter bunny rabbit brings the chocolate Easter eggs and hides them in all our gardens on Easter Sunday. On Easter morning all the young children wake up early to go egg hunting in the gardens. This egg hunt can take a long time as the Easter bunny hides the eggs in many different places, under stones, in between the flowers, behind trees, and sometimes even upon the tree branches. The parents help the young children to find these eggs by lifting them up in their arms so that they can reach the eggs up high. When the children have found all their chocolate eggs the parents, even though they make breakfast for everyone, the children will only eat chocolate..., chocolate...., chocolate...., more chocolate...and even more chocolate.
For us in Ireland Easter is traditionally family time, giving us an opportunity to spending time together, playing games, walking, and enjoying life!