Marking the first day of Spring in Ireland St Brigid’s Day, also known as part of the Celtic celebration of Imbolc, takes place annually on the 1st of February making the new season of growth, nature, colour and creativity. As a goddess of fire and fertility, Brigid celebrates the rebirth of nature and the colour and vibrance of nature that comes in springtime.
One of the four key festivals in the Celtic calendar (the others being Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain) Imbolc traditionally falls between the shortest day and the spring equinox and is a time when people look forwards for a good year ahead. Wildflowers and the lighting of candles are also associated with St. Brigid, as a time to look toward the future and clear out the old – it’s where the concept of the ‘spring clean’ was derived.
Known for her own creativity and crafts, traditional St. Brigid activities include making of the iconic St. Brigid’s Cross, a symbol which was handmade from rushes or straw, created on her annual feast day, 1st February, to protect homes from harm from malevolent spirits. Whilst in some places in the west of Ireland, girls wove straw Brídeóg dolls in her honour which costumed ‘Biddy Boys’ would then carry through the village!
2024 marks 1500 years since the death of this iconic ‘Matron Saint’, and will be celebrated across Ireland with parades, festivals and ceremonies, but also in the celebration of Spring, rebirth and culture.
Spring is a perfect time to Fill Your Heart With Ireland, with gardens beginning to bloom across the country, yellow daffodils bursting into colour in parks, as well as lambs in the fields.
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