Easter Week 2019 falls several weeks after St Patrick's Day this year but that means that we have to grapple with the 'can we break Lent or not' battle! 

Easter is a major holiday in Ireland, second only to Christmas, for a host of reasons, some of which are religious and some historical. Of course, as a historically Catholic majority country, one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year has always been an important fixture in the calendar year but the Easter period in Ireland also sparks commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising, one of the pivotal moments of the Irish struggle for independence from the British Empire. 

Rubble in Dublin following the 1916 Easter Rising.

Rubble in Dublin following the 1916 Easter Rising.

When is Holy Week 2019 and will it collide with St Patrick's Day?

With Easter Sunday, 2019, falling on Sunday, April 21, 2019, St Patrick's Day on March 17 will be long gone and we'll all be fully recovered from the celebrations to make room for that Easter Sunday dinner and the chocolate Easter eggs. 

Holy Week will begin with Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 14, in Ireland and end on Holy Saturday, Saturday, April 20. Good Friday (otherwise known as Holy Friday) will take place on Friday, April 19, and practicing Catholics in Ireland will attend Mass. Many will also observe the solemn holiday of Maudy Thursday (Holy Thursday) on Thursday, April 18, 2019. 

Easter Sunday is not included in Holy Week but is observed as a separate holiday in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The end of Holy Week on Holy Saturday sees the start of Easter Week and the Christian Easter season. 

Read more: Why Easter is such an important holiday to the Irish

Is Easter a bank holiday or a day off in Ireland?

Will we get a day off for Easter in Ireland?

Will we get a day off for Easter in Ireland?

Good Friday is not a national public holiday in Ireland. While schools are generally on their Easter break and businesses can make the decision to close for the day, there is no entitlement to a day off. 

Easter Monday, however, the Monday after Easter Sunday - this year falling on Monday, April 22 - is a public holiday and most businesses and schools will be closed. 

Read more: Pubs in Ireland open on Good Friday for the first time and people are having ALL the craic

What happens if St Patrick's Day falls during Lent? 

No chocolate for us if St Patrick's Day falls during Lent. Image: Getty.

No chocolate for us if St Patrick's Day falls during Lent. Image: Getty.

When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday during Lent, the obligation to abstain from eating meat does not have to be adhered to.

What happens if St Patrick's Day falls during Holy Week or Easter?

When March 17 falls during Holy Week, the actual celebration date can be moved. In 1940, St. Patrick's Day was observed on April 3 in order to avoid clashing with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, when it was observed on March 15. St. Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160 – when it will fall on the Monday before Easter. 

Looking for events in your community this St Patrick’s Day or to share further information on the March 17 celebrations in your area? Join our St Patrick’s Day 2019 group and celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2019 in proper Irish style.

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Easter and St Patrick's Day 2019 combined? Getty