Monday, April 17 marks the official launch at Dublin Castle of Cruinniú na Cásca, a new, large-scale, free, fun family festival that invites members of the public across the country to join in a spirited celebration of contemporary Irish life, multiculturalism, and creativity. You can find listings to all the events going on around the country here,

Presented by RTÉ as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, Cruinniú na Cásca, which translates directly as ‘a meeting at Easter’, will see the streets and public spaces of our nation’s cities, towns and villages come to life with an enormous range of live music and dance, theatre, art and coding workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings, special events and more.

The festival will take place every Easter Monday for the next five years, with 31 local authorities across the nation hosting special free Cruinniú na Cásca initiatives, with a distinct focus on events for families and children. It’s the perfect opportunity to get together for a new way to celebrate Easter Monday.

With new events being added daily to this year's programs throughout Ireland, be sure to visit RTÉ Cruinniú na Cásca online to find out what's happening in your area. 

Stroll the streets of Cork City, where you can brush up on your cúpla focal by joining a local history walking tour, courtesy of St. Peter’s, before stopping at the Triskel Arts Centre for a late afternoon screening of Song of the Sea. Or why not wander up to historic Elizabeth Fort for unmatched views of the city below and a guided tour, to boot?

The county of Cork itself will be a hive of activity for Crinniú na Cásca, with a wonderful range of activities across each of its eight municipal districts, while in Galway City, you can help round off the fabulous Galway Food Festival by sharing a nibble at the public Breaking Bread Event.

The community craic will be mighty in Clare, where glór has designed a cultural program of activities for all the family, and in Kerry, too, where the Lúmina light, art, and music event in Dingle will stimulate your senses.

In the capital, four designated zones across Dublin city centre will provide a dazzling array of activities and entertainment, from Smithfield Square (Zone 1) and Custom House Quay (Zone 4) on Dublin’s north side to St. Stephen’s Green (Zone 3) and Dublin Castle (Zone 2) to the south. Revelers can enjoy live music, workshops and demonstrations, poetry and dance performances, film screenings, talks, crafts and much more, and RTÉ will be there to broadcast live from all four zones throughout the day on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Sligo and Donegal will each be serving up fun-filled days out, with traditional music, children’s activities, arts and crafts and guided tours aplenty, including a spine-tingling performance by Crash Ensemble and Adrian Crowley of the latter’s latest work The Dead Hotel. You can also take part in a moving exploration of The Children of Lir, where you will be invited to help forge a new vision of Ireland in the 21st century.

As the day draws to a close, festival-goers in Abbeyshrule, County Longford will enjoy an evocative ceremony of lights and music at the historic 12th-century Cistercian Abbey, surely the most magical place to be to cap off this nationwide day of festivities.

These activities are just a sampling of the rich variety of events taking place across Ireland for the inaugural Cruinniú na Cásca Festival. Why not get together and dance, eat, sing and play, for free, and make this Easter Monday a day to remember?

When: Easter Monday, April 17, 2017 from 11.00am – 6.00pm

Where: Locations nationwide

Need to know

All events are free, organized courtesy of RTÉ and Creative Ireland, who together seek to capture the unique spirit and creativity of contemporary Ireland. Cooperation for this program is graciously provided by Dublin City Council, the OPW, and Transport for Ireland.

Thousands of tickets will be available to the public for talks, film screenings, autism friendly workshops and coding classes, but it’s strongly recommended that you secure your place online in advance as capacity is a regard.

For a full list of events and to book your free tickets, visit RTÉ Cruinniú na Cásca online.