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posted by , 22 FEB 2016

Easter 2016 is on Sunday March 27 - very early this year.

I thought I'd write a few words about it for a couple of reasons.  Primarily, it's a shameless SEO tactic but on further reflection, I got to thinking about Easter and it's somewhat fraught relationship with both Irish businesses and the wider Irish public.

Historically, Easter in Ireland was a seriously big deal for reasons that probably need little or no explanation here.  But Ireland today is a very different place - multicultural, multi-ethnic and thankfully for many, increasingly secular in some respects (let's not mention our education system). 

That said, our laws have not kept pace with the social changes and come Easter, we still have the bizarre situation where every pub in the country has to close on Good Friday - the traditional start of the long Easter weekend. From a tourism perspective, it's an oddity that does us no favours at all.

And from a business perspective, outside of the hospitality sector, it's a spectacularly damp start to a long weekend too.  In fact, Easter for us is really a non-event.  Even in our gallery in Kinsale it's quiet.  It's just not a shopping type weekend.  It's about rest, relaxation and religion if that's your thing. And you know what, that's great.  Not every holiday has to be about commerce. This one is about things that are much more important.  

Having said that, I think it would be no bad thing if Easter fell on a fixed date every year. If you take this year - a particularly important year for Ireland as we celebrate the centenary of the Rising, we have two public holidays in March and absolutely nothing in April. That's going to hurt businesses who will have nothing in the calendar in April - when there's far more chance of a bright sunny couple of days than you may have in March. One or two degrees warmer can make a big difference.

The only downside is that no one  will google "When is Easter" anymore and I'll have to think of some new SEO strategies.

Happy Easter and enjoy the break!