SPENDING by families on Communions has jumped, new research shows.
Despite almost five years of austerity, pay cuts and tax rises, an extra €100 is now being shelled out on the big religious celebrations for young boys and girls.
Families are now splashing out €573 on the big day for the little children, according to research commissioned by lender EBS. This is up from the total outlay of €479 on a Communion three years ago.
There was no clear reason for the jump in Communion spending, but some financial experts said families were starting to get over the shock of the financial collapse and some were now prepared to put more money into the celebrations.
Other financial experts said that families are having fewer celebrations during the downturn, but spending more now when they do have one.
Communions were notorious during the Celtic Tiger for lavish spending on everything from helicopters to horse-drawn carriages to the church.
But the new EBS survey shows that spending is again rising fast.
And there is expected to be a sharp rise in the amount of money girls in white dresses and boys in suits get from relations, friends and neighbours.
The survey has estimated that €455 will be handed over to the communicants, up from €323 last year.
One in four adults said they have gifted a child money to mark the Communion in the last year.
Average amounts given by an adult to Communion children are €30, with €20 usual for a Confirmation.
Around €400 will be spent by families on Confirmation for the children who are in their last year of primary school.
A majority of parents said they expect their children to save the money they get for their Communion and Confirmation.
Despite the big spend on the big celebrations, a majority of parents believe the current economic climate will teach children to be careful with money.
EBS head of savings Richard Kissane said: "First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies are an important milestone for children and their families. It is also a time for giving to children.
"In many cases it is the first time they are introduced to the responsibility of managing their own money. It is encouraging that the survey findings suggest young people are saving a large proportion of the money they receive."