St. Brigid's and the start of spring

St. Brigids Cross Burren SmokehouseThe 1st February is celebrated in Ireland as the Feast day of St. Brigid, Ireland's only Patron Saint. An amazing woman who overcame a lot of obstacles in a male dominated world to pursue her vision.

Today, St. Brigid's Day is celebrated not just for its religious connotations. It has taken on a wider meaning, extending to celebrating women in general, their creativity and resilience, their strength and courage.

The 1st of February is also the beginning of spring in the Celtic calendar, called Imbolc (which wonderfully means "in the belly"). While it seems like a very early  date for spring, it is not in Ireland with its mild climate. A lot of flowers are usually coming out this time of the year, like the spring gentian and the wild primulas. Lambs are being born, and the birds are starting to sing and build their nests.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has commissioned three short videos about St. Brigid, and this is a very compelling and spellbinding video filmed at St. Brigid's Well in Liscannor, County Clare, a mere 20 minutes drive from Lisdoonvarna and at the back of the Cliffs of Moher.

In the days before St. Brigid's Day, people usually make the famous St. Brigid crosses to be picked up at the well by worshippers who want to protect their houses from evil and fire.

Happy St. Brigid's Day!