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This 1916 thing!

This 1916 thing!

So, it is 2016 and all you read and hear in news and newspapers about is 1916. Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire, the libraries, RTE, all newspapers and radio and TV stations are constantly referring to it and if it wasn’t for the speculations about the date for the next general elections, they would probably probably give it even more airtime and print centimetres. …and even the Dublin Event Guide (for Free Events) is filled with (free!) events that make a big story about this year a long long time ago.

So what is this 1916 thing?

If you had hoped you will get through 2016 without having to think about it, I have no good news for you. Actually, my recommendation is that you do read a little about it and maybe go to one or two (or more of the talks) so that you understand what and why people make such a big issue about it.

The event is big in Irish History and if you are not from Ireland, you might be surprised when you find out that it was a total failure and still it is such a big thing 100 years later. It was an attempt to get rid of the British occupiers, but it was badly planned and had no much support in the normal Irish population and after a few days of fighting and a LOT of deaths on both sides, the Irish fighters surrendered.

So we are celebrating this failure in 2016? No, not exactly! We are commemorating! (A small difference.) And the importance of the event comes from what came from it not what it was in 1916. Put in simple terms, you could say that it was the start of what resulted in Ireland’s Independence from Britain. So without the failure in 1916, Ireland possibly would have never (or much later) become a Republic.

The fuzz that is made about 1916 this year might appear to be unproportionally big and you could think that more fuzz should be made about the SUCCESSFUL steps to independence, but when people die for an idea, then this often leads to a certain heroification and that will be a more or less strong component of this year’s commemorations.

By the way: Not everyone agrees fully with that heroification and you might find some talks that look at the role of the leaders of the Rising in a slightly more critical way.

So, inform yourself about this piece of history of the country you live in, so that you can form your own informed opinion about the events this year.

A good starting point for finding out more is via this Google driven tour

1916 Easter Rising celebrated on wrong day

1916 Easter Rising celebrated on wrong day

Do you and your family celebrate birthdays? Yes? I bet these birthdays are made up of a day and a month and a year. So, for example 12 June 1986 or 06 August 1952 and you might even remember some important events from your history classes or from recent events? The Second World War ended on 02 September 1945, and the attacks on the World Trade Centre happened on 11 September 2001. All very clear and internationally the same system is used. It is called a “date”!

But what about the 1916 Rising? Do you know when it happened? Sure, on Easter Monday! Come again? Easter Monday!

Easter is the only relevant, completely moveable feast in our calender. It could take place any time between 22 March and 25 April and is calculated based on moon and sun ( In 725 the rule to determine the date of Easter was “The Sunday following the full Moon which falls on or after the equinox”. This was modified a little, but it still uses the same principle.

So, how about we celebrate your birthday instead of on 12 June 1986, on the first Tuesday after the full moon in the sixth month of the year? You would probably say that that is stupid, right?

But what about the Easter Rising in 1916? Yes, in 1916 it took place in Easter Monday, but does that justify to celebrate it every year on Easter Monday? ONLY if we can celebrate your birthday also based on the lunar-sun cycle!

The event in 1916 took place on 24 April 1916 not on 06 April as it is celebrated this year or on 28 March as the 100th anniversary is celebrated in 2016. And that does NOT make ANY sense at all!

Ohh and you might think the problem was because that many years ago, they gave the day more relevance than the date?! So in this day and age we should be smarter, right? Can I remind you of the “Good Friday Agreement”? Looks like an Irish problem!?

1916 Easter Rising Commemoration

1916 Easter Rising Commemoration

The 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration is celebrated at Easter Sunday every year. It doesn’t make sense really, because we all know that Easter is literally a moving feast. The actual Easter Rising in 1916 took place on Easter Monday, which was 24 April 1916. So this year we are quite close to the actual date. Considering how significant the event is in Irish history, you would think the right thing would be to celebrate it on the correct date, no? Imagine you were born at Easter, would you then celebrate your birthday at Easter every year or rather on the correct date?

No matter what you think, this year the commemoration will take place on Easter Sunday again. It is an odd celebration all the important people are involved: The president, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence but apart from the reading of the Proclamation of independence, it is mainly a military parade, that seems totally out of date.

Let’s hope that the 100th anniversary in 2016 (on the random date of 27 March) will be more appropriate to the historical significance of the date.

If you want to attend the spectacle this year, you have to be in position (near the GPO) by 11:15 and then wait until 12:00. Video screens on either side of the GPO will show what is happening.

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