Thursday 1 February 2024

Brigid's Day

Today is St Brigid's Day in Ireland and considered to be the first day of Spring....well maybe....

Since we were given a Bank holiday to celebrate (just last year), the country has risen to the occasion and festivals are sprouting up everywhere. Traditionally the only way I ever celebrated was to gather reeds and make Brigid's Crosses, see poems below. 

The Cross is meant to protect against fire in the home and every year we burnt last year's cross and made a new one. We kept it simple. 

But I learn now that in Kerry villages are awash with biddies wearing white outfits and sporting elaborate straw hats. They rove in droves from house to house singing and dancing into the wee small hours over a period of four nights. I had no idea that we were missing out....

See link below for information on Saint Brigid.  

On Making a Brigid’s Cross


Its strength lies in the fold.

You bend the rush firm and hold, finger fasten to the centre, turn clockwise and return, again and again.

It’s the last rush that decides if your lattice will hold or fall apart or hang slack, woven through with chinks of light.



At Imbolg


Stooped to the rhythm of sickle

we gathered rushes from the bog

or, with our hands, pulled stems

that raised wheals and reddened palms.


We lay them in piles and folded
and turned and turned and folded
until we made a centre

that would hold.


Not knowing then that she was daughter of Dagda

Celtic Goddess, Crone turned Maiden each Spring

and that we were cutting deeper than bog

i mbolg, at imbolg.

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2016 All rights reserved


  1. We could dress in white and pretend to be the old biddies! What would they make of us?

  2. I think we might be locked up!!!