top of page
  • Writer's pictureAnnie

Celebrating St. Brigid's Day

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Winter in West Virginia can be quite dull, so this week I was looking up Irish traditions in preparation for my upcoming trip to Ireland in April. While browsing, I found an article about St. Brigid’s Day (you can find it here) and the activities associated with her day. St. Brigid’s Day is celebrated on February 1st and represents the first day of spring in Ireland. I called up my mom (she’s always down for something new) and said, “Let’s celebrate spring early this year!” With my winter blues momentarily brushed aside, I set out to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day – an American attempt at an Irish holiday!

The Life of Brigid

St. Brigid lived in the 5th century and is one of the patron saints of Ireland. Her feast day coincides with the pagan festival of Imbolc, which marked the middle of winter and spring. Her persona also aligns with the Celtic goddess of the same name. (Coincidence? I think not!) Throughout her life, Brigid performed many miracles and was known for healing and feeding the poor, and also founded two monasteries. Brigid was known to be a legendary dairywoman and a white cow with red ears is often associated with her. She also was known to turn water into beer, so I’d say she was a pretty neat lady!

The Cross

To celebrate, I started by crafting St. Brigid’s crosses with straw. Being that is 2020 and I’m in America, I purchased the straw from a local craft store, but it did the trick! This cross is a famous one in Ireland – St. Brigid is said to use straw in a barn to explain Christianity to a dying pagan, hence the design. Once the crosses were finished, I put a cross on my front door to keep out evil, hunger, and fire (all the bad juju, in general).

The Offering

Next up – I prepared my offering to St. Brigid! Traditionally, one leaves an oat bread (recipe here) and butter for St. Brigid on the windowsill, as well as some corn for her trusty white cow with red ears. So, I followed a recipe for a traditional oat bread, laid out some blueberry jam (St. Brigid was also famous for the blueberry jam at one of her monasteries), butter, and some corn. I added in a cross and a white ribbon just to be sure to really get St. Brigid’s blessing.

After placing my offering on my windowsill, I stopped by my local pub and ordered a Guinness and raised one to St. Brigid and her kindness!

Are you looking to escape the winter blues? Why not give St. Brigid’s Day a try? Better yet, why not give a trip to Ireland a try? Ireland Travel Club offers a fantastic 8-day small group authentic tour of the Emerald Isle – so check it out!

167 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page