Saint Brigid's Day in Ireland Date in the current year: February 1, 2016

Saint Brigid's Day in Ireland Saint Brigid of Kildare is one of the three patron saints of Ireland, along with Saint Patrick and Saint Columba. Her feast day falls on February 1 and is strongly associated with the Gaelic pagan festival of Imbolc.

There is very little reliable information about Saint Brigid's life. She was born circa 453 to Dubhtnach, a chieftain of Leinsrer, and Brocca, a slave in Dubhtnach's household. Brigid's mother was a Christian who had been baptized by Saint Patrick.

Growing up, Saint Brigid performed many miracles, including feeding the poor and healing. Around 480, she founded a monastery at Kildare (Cill Dara). The monastery was erected on the site where a pagan shrine to the Gaelic goddess Brighid used to be.

In the Middle Ages, Saint Brigid was syncretized with the pagan goddess Brighid, the patroness of cattle, medicine, and spring. Brighid's festival, Imbolc, coincided with Saint Brigid's feast day, and the two holidays eventually merged.

On Saint Brigid's Day, people typically make Brigid's crosses. A Brigid's cross is a small cross woven out of rushes, reed or straw. It consists of a square in the center and four radials tied at the ends. It is believed to protect the house from evil and fire.

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Saint Brigid's Day in Ireland, religious holidays, Saint Brigid of Kildare, patron saint, holidays in Ireland