A very happy Easter to all our readers
Published 04/04/2015 | 02:30
Easter is the pre-eminent Christian feast in the calendar and unlike other festivals - which were cleverly colonised by the new religion - it came with Christianity and marked the end of the Lenten period of fasting and abstinence.
In our history it also marked the rebellion of 1916 and the 'blood sacrifice' that this entailed.
This Easter - and in the weeks and months to come - these events will be commemorated and debated as modern Ireland attempts to come to terms with its past, and the successes and failures of the Republic.
And in more recent times in our consumer-driven society, Easter has been colonised by the multinational conglomerates with chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and the other paraphernalia that goes with such occasions.
As we embark on Easter week some of the old traditions still exist and new ones are being invented.
The Easter Rising was timed to coincide with the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday. The racing festival at Co Meath's Fairyhouse, which still includes the Irish Grand National on Monday, will attract tens of thousands of racegoers.
It, like the rugby match between Leinster and Bath, looks like being bathed in sunshine, as Easter can often herald unseasonably good weather for this time of the year as the gods, Celtic or otherwise, smile upon us.
And there are also new traditions that must be commended.
Yesterday, Paul O'Connell, that giant of the rugby field and role model for all, teamed up with two giants of the race track, Tony McCoy and JP McManus, to induce 10,000 citizens of Co Limerick to use Good Friday as an occasion to clean up their towns and villages and make Limerick the cleanest county in Ireland.
It is an inspiring venture born out of the Tidy Towns competition and one that with a bit of luck - and maybe the encouragement of O'Connell - could spread to every county and corner of Ireland, with this day set aside to make our world a little bit tidier, cleaner and greener.
With that little bit of good news, we wish each and every reader a happy Easter and many more to come.