WHO WAS ST BRIGID, IRELAND’S ONLY FEMALE PATRON SAINT?
According to medieval writings, Brigid was born around AD 450 in Faughart, near Dundalk, to a slave mother and noble father. She became known for her generosity, distributing food to the poor who came to her father’s house. “If I had all thy wealth,” she is said to have told him, “I would give it to the poor, for giving to the poor is giving to the Lord of the universe.”
Brigid went on to establish Ireland’s first convent in Kildare, which developed into a community for both nuns and monks. As abbess of the monastery, she founded a school of art famous for its beautiful illuminated manuscripts, including the Book of Kildare. Today, St Brigid is commemorated with a feast day on 1st February, the first day of spring. A new Irish public holiday will also be held in her honour on 6th February.
ST. BRIGID’S DAY EVENTS AT EPIC
Tiny Tots: Brigid’s Stories
Discover the stories of pirates, pilots, mountaineers and poets. This is an interactive storytelling session utilising historical re-enactment and imaginative storytelling to bring to life stories from Irish history. This drop-in session is included as part of your EPIC ticket.
Explorers: Brigid’s Brideogs
Explore the customs of Spring Around the World in this workshop where you can create your very own Brideog doll. This workshop is suitable for children 6+ and adults of all ages. Come along, get messy and have a bit of fun as you get hands on with history and learn about the past through craft!
Spring Around the World
Discover how the Irish celebrate Spring around the world in this fun and creative craft workshop suitable for Primary School students. Learn all about the Irish traditions of St. Brigid’s day, such as making nature tables and Brigid’s crosses, before exploring how other cultures welcome in Spring.
EPIC Perspectives: St. Brigid Around the World
Traditions relating to St. Brigid abound on the island of Ireland, but did you know that Brigid is honoured in diverse cultural contexts around the world? From pre-Christian Ireland to the present day, the Goddess Brigid is celebrated during the festivities of Imbolc which traditionally marked the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
St Brigid’s Day History-at-home Pack
Download our free History-at-home pack to discover the history of St. Brigid, and how the arrival of Spring heralded new beginnings for the Celts. Learn all about the traditions enjoyed on the day through word searches, trivia quizzes and activities and such as making your own Brigid’s Cross. What better way to celebrate St. Brigid and women around the world this St. Brigid’s Day!
ST. BRIGID’S DAY CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
The London Irish Centre brings back our annual St Brigid’s Day concert, celebrating the first day of spring and Irish women! Hosted by the wonderful Tara Flynn, expect music, film, conversation and laughter with live music from Megan O’Neill, Evon Brennan, Linda Moylan and harpist Tara Viscardi.
Irish Film London is delighted to bring you six of the best new short films by Irish women filmmakers in this specially curated programme for St Brigid’s Day 2023. If you can’t attend this event in person, this event can be watched on Irish Film From Home online.
The Embassy of Ireland in Madrid is delighted to invite you to a special concert to celebrate St. Brigid´s Day this year, and are honoured to have the internationally renowned Irish uilleann piper Louise Mulcahy here to perform alongside Madrid based dance group Irish Treble.
To mark Saint Brigid’s Day 2023, the Embassy of Ireland to Belgium and the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union, in collaboration with Ibec Global, invite you to join Brigid in Brussels – a lunchtime networking event for Irish women based in Belgium.
Brigid Festival Vancouver is a four-day free festival to celebrate the healing, light, and creativity of Irish women and women across the world with a mix of in-person and virtual gatherings. This year our inclusive theme is: ‘There’s Room for Everyone Under Brigid’s Cloak’.
New York, USA
The final event of the 2023 Origin 1st Irish Festival on St Brigid’s Eve, with a staged reading of a new play by Maura Mulligan, “Brigid,” featuring songs from the Grammy-winning vocalist Susan McKeown. The Cuala Foundation will present a post-reading panel conversation.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Browse through our online collection and follow the fascinating stories of the Irish around the world, both past and present and learn how St. Brigid’s Day has been celebrated for centuries throughout our island and the world. Discover the many ways our cultural traditions have evolved over time as we prepare to mark Ireland’s newest public holiday.
From the celebrated to the unsung, our stories, myths and traditions speak of a shared character; of creativity and strength, audacity and ingenuity, resilience and brilliance and offer a unique lens through which Ireland and the Irish people can be fully understood.
OTHER WOMEN WHO MADE THEIR MARK ON HISTORY
Read the story of Donegal-born Kay McNulty, the Irish ‘mother of computer programming’. While raising seven children, she continued, uncredited, to programme computers her husband developed.
The Irishwoman who was the world’s first female stockbroker, Dubliner Oonah Keogh overcame numerous barriers to become the first female stockbroker – barriers that her male contemporaries never had to deal with.
Born in 1843, Irish astronomer Rose O’Halloran was an academic with a difference. She emigrated to the US, and is credited as being the first to see a giant sunspot emerge on the sun’s limb.