Easter is one of the most celebrated of all holidays in Ireland, with the Easter season starting with Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent, and culminating in Easter Sunday celebrations and a public holiday the day afterward.
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Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is an important time for many in this predominantly Catholic country with Easter Sunday dawn masses drawing the most worshippers of the season. (However, recent census information and other studies show that fewer and fewer Irish are identifying as Catholic – though still a majority do – and mass attendance is in a sustained decline.)
The highlight of the season is often the family meal on Easter Sunday. Other activities and events of note include:
- Easter egg hunts, such as the one at Greenan Maze in Wicklow. The one who finds a golden egg wins a prize, besides getting to eat the egg itself. There are many other egg hunts as well, such as the one at Ardgillan Castle in Dublin.
- The state ceremony outside the GPO in Dublin that commemorates the Easter Rising of 1916. The Easter Rising triggered a series of events eventually leading to an independent Irish republic.