Why Easter is such an important holiday to the Irish.
Socially, it’s a high-water mark of the year, arriving just as the spring is really being felt throughout the Irish countryside and summer fashions start to make a first tentative appearance.
Religiously, of course, it’s a time of solemn reflection and renewal, and even the least religious Irish person will acknowledge that the story of Christ’s death and resurrection still holds an enduring power that speaks strongly to the Irish experience, whether you’re a believer or not.
It’s because the theme of renewal after deprivation or great suffering is a story the Irish understand in their bones. It was by no accident that the rebel leader Patrick Pearse chose Easter as the ideal time to declare the Irish Republic. After centuries of British oppression, Pearse wanted the nation to experience the promised renewal of Easter in a way that paralleled…
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