St Brigids Day, Brigid crosses and the first day of Spring in Ireland
St. Brigid’s Day, 1st of February and also known as Imbolc a pagan festival , which honored the goddess Brigid, and celebrated the official beginning of the growing and lambing season. The first day of Spring traditionally in Ireland.
St. Brigids crosses would have been made out of rushes from the fields and placed in the house and also in the Cattle sheds in farms. I
remember making in School and placing them in the milking parlour. It was said to protect the house from fire and evil. It is a tradition that still lives on.
Brigid crosses are still made in schools, especially in rural Ireland. The concrete jungle of Dublin and Cork and Belfast, not being too conducive to growing rushes. The story of the cross traditionally goes
that “ pagan chieftain from the Kildare was dying. Christians in his household sent for Brigid to talk to him about Christ. When she got there, she found that it was impossible to instruct this man, as he was feverish and mad. Brigid sat down at his bedside and began consoling him. As was customary, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness. Brigid stooped down and started to weave them into a cross, fastening the points together in to the cross, as seen on the left. The man became intrigued and she explained Christianity and he converted.
However it is believed that while St. Brigid may have existed, that there is also a Goddess Brigid, from the pagan pantheon, many of her aspects have survived in the legends of Brigid. The Brigid’s cross comes in three forms, the hook style cross, the tri-part cross, which looks like the Isle of Man flag and a inter laced one. The first 2 forms all represent the hooked cross, symbolic of the sun rolling across the sun. While the tri-part one, represents the cycle of life, the great trinities of paganism and Christianity.The Swastika also reflects this principal and there is a large correlation between
it and St. Brigid’s cross. While obviously not reflecting the awful new associations of the Swastika. It is nevertheless a symbol that is present in the Book of Kells and also present in an Ogham stone from 350AD in Kerry.
Short URL: http://holidaysaroundireland.com/?p=1070