Here in Northern Ireland, Easter is a really big deal. So big, that QUB, and most universities here, give students 3 weeks without classes. Therefore, most Sudy Abroad students do not know what to do. Some explore Belfast and other areas around Europe, some go home or have family come here, and some just stay here embracing the city. As someone with family here, I chose the last option. I have spent the break getting to know my family a little better. With them being so far from my home in Texas, it is nice having some time to get to know them better. I have some pretty amazing cousins and family here!
The day of Easter is simple and similar to the states. Easter Eggs:
After that, we took part in a Northern Irish pastime calls Slack Lining. It is pretty much walking on thick threaded fabric, much like a tightrope. It was very interesting. Jess's friends were pros at it, when I had to hold onto akerrie just to walk across!
Horseback riding (left to right: Me, Steph, and Jess) on Easyer monday. For anyone who rides Western like I learned, it is so strange to transition to English. It is such a different style. Everything from how you sit to how you stop.
Here, Easter is more than just one day! Easter Monday is a big deal. It seems to be more of a Family Day than the actual holiday.
This year, my first year celebrating it, was an interesting one. Being a whole 22 degrees Celcius (which is quite hot over here) we decided to have a picnic at the Castlewhellan Forest park, complete with a private tour of the castle courtesy of my Cousin Jess's friends who actually get to live there!:
We ended the day with dinner at a Chippie and a visit to the Bank that is robbed in the movie MickyBo and Me. If you've never watched it, look it up. It's brilliant!
So overall, the holidays are happy times. However, being abroad, you really get to see and learn how another culture, even one you think is similar to yours, celebrates. Being able to spend a major holiday here made me miss home a lot. However, it is an experience I won't soon forget.
PS. I love Monica Greene