St. Brigid’s Day – Lá Fhéile Bríde – celebrates Ireland’s only female patron saint on February 1st and most people will be familiar with the popular tradition of making crosses in St Brigid’s honour.
Did you know the feast day of this 5th century saint was one of the most important days of the year for our rural ancestors?
With its origins in the Celtic festival of Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day was the festival of fertility and marked the beginning of spring in Ireland. It signalled an end to the darkness of winter and ushered in a new season of hope and growth.
As such, people celebrated the day with a festive meal and a host of customs, all aimed at securing St Brigid’s protection and promise of new life and abundance for the year ahead.