To celebrate St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc this year we will be holding two events on the weekend leading up to February 1st. St Brigid’s Day has long been celebrated in Ireland and is associated with St Brigid of Kildare. On this day people make a traditional cross out of rushes to hang in their house for protection, keeping away bad luck and evil. However, long before Christianity reached these shores people celebrated Imbolc and the goddess Brigid.
Imbolc is halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox and was an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the beginning of spring. It derives from the Irish words i mbolg, meaning in the belly, the first signs of new life for the coming year. In these ancient times people would make a three arm cross again out of rushes to represent the triskele (derived from Greek and meaning three legged) an ancient symbol of life, death, and rebirth. The significance of the symbol at this time of year was to signify the earth coming back to life after the depth of the dark winter days.
On Saturday the 29th of January at 11am we will be leading a guided walk around the 2km loop trail at the Ballycroy Visitor Centre where we will discuss the many tales of Brigid, this will be followed by cross making from rushes at the outdoor seated area at the back of the Visitor Centre until 3pm.
Then on Sunday the 30th of January we will be at the Bothy in Letterkeen at 11am where we will lead a 2.5km walk along the new trail there and again recount some of the tales associated with Brigid. The walk will be followed by cross making from rushes at the Bothy until 3pm.