This is a great video from an Irish folklore expert, who is also down to earth (and Irish, which helps) on Easter customs and crafts in Ireland.
Plus YET ANOTHER GUISING DAY! Seriously, y’all over in Europe were dressing up in costumes a lot more often than we Americans do. (Pace-Egging and Easter guising is also a thing in parts of England and Finland.)
Yes, little kids went googing (spelled gugging, but it’s a longish oo that just stops short of the oo in goo) for Easter eggs, and still do in Wexford. The usual days are Holy Saturday or Easter Monday, and the question at the door is “Eggs or money, mam?”
All the Guggin’ for Eggs info that you need! Plus a video of COVID reverse-Gugging (with bonus cruel separation, poor kids).
So Barney Google with the goo-goo-googly eyes was supposed to be understood as having eyes like eggs, maybe….
This video also explains why you really want blessed salt on Easter, or in a blessed Easter basket — to salt your after-Lent eggs with, of course! This makes a lot of sense… People tend to forget that consumption of blessed salt is totally valid use of a sacramental. Cows and calves would also get blessed salt as a protective treat.
Also, RTE says that kids were often sent out of the house to build “Easter houses,” which were basically little dens or camps where the kids could roast or boil their Easter eggs over their own little campfires. Probably this allowed the adults to get Easter dinner done.
In some places, the adults joined the fun and had a Cludog egg picnic with a fire. This was also a good time to color your eggs with natural (and short-lived) dyes like gorse-yellow or onion-skin red/brown. In the old days, they would get spotted with wax, or strings would be used for dye resist.
The Easter folklore video shows pics of these children’s campfire techniques!
Egg-rolling (down a hill) and egg-eating contests are also Irish traditions for Easter. (And if you had gotten up at 4 in the morning to watch the sun rise (and possibly dance for joy), you’d be pretty slaphappy also.
Apparently Polish immigrants getting Easter baskets blessed, have been an impetus for Irish people to start getting their Easter baskets blessed again! Ha! This is a Holy Saturday thing.
Finally, there’s decorating May Bushes, on May 1, with SAVED EASTER EGG SHELLS strung on rags and strings. So a May bush is really an egg tree, possibly even with blessed eggs from Holy Saturday.