As we enter the festival time of Bhride
Bhride is my choice for naming the spirit that others lovingly and passionately call Brighid, Brigid, Brigit, Brig, Brit, Britten, Britannia, Bearra, Barra, Imbolg, Imbolc and the name listing goes on. Why Bhride is my choice, I do not know as the name you prefer and feel most comfortable with is always the best, it does not matter. The names Caitlin and Kathleen have links too. I feel the “spirit” of this time is what counts.
For 2008 it looks like we are to share this amongst quite challenging weather through most of Ireland, and UK, as a few days of winter blast is upon us. Today, Friday 31st, is a mix of 40 to 60 mph gusts moving along showers of either snow or hail in between beautiful clear blue sky and sun periods. Its about 34 degrees F. outside, which is unusually low for Ireland daytime, even in winter. Snow is said to be falling through tonight and Friday night with very icy sunny mornings, then a bit warmer but very wet by Monday Feb. 4th.
I am looking for a sunny sunrise to plot the Imbolc and Samhain entrance to, and exit from, our new garden Labyrinth. More news on that as it happens.
Date of the celebration
This is messy here in Ireland.
The priest has just turned up at the church, next to where I currently live, to prepare for Brigid’s Eve mass on this January 31st. IN the UK and elsewhere this will be Candlemas.
Tonight people around here will be hanging out their “Brigid’s Cloaks”, usually red cloth or ribbons, so that they may be blessed with Brigid’s passing. Tomorrow morning they will bring in their “cloaks” full of dew, and probably snow this year, to either add to water for all in the house to share or just pass the “cloak around for wiping, so all living in the household will be blessed.
Some folks will head for Brigid Wells tomorrow for a similar ritual.
However, there are some who feel the date is wrong due to its convenient adaption to the Roman Calendar as Brigid is much older than when that calendar was created.
Around Ireland, through that wisdom, they either hang out their Brigid’s Cloaks before sunset Feb 1st and, or, visit Brigid Wells and Feb 2nd, but its still aligning to a Roman calendar.
The ancient “wise” men created their calendars in relation to their astronomical observations of the skies. They plotted what we now call “sidereal time” and this certainly helps us to plot a very accurate time of Imbolc, a time of Bhride and Brigid. This time is the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Vernal (Spring) Equinox, which this year, in Ireland, is during the day of Monday, February 4th, 2008 with the nearest sunrise being the morning of the 4th. My Brigid’s Cloak will be put out on the evening of the 3rd.
What’s going on around Ireland right now?
I hope the bad weather does not cut attendance too much, but if it does the intimate events will still be a joy to those who are there. Worth getting to these if you can.
Jan 31st , tonight, Brigid's Eve Ritual at St. Brigid's Well
Assemble at 7.20 p.m. at Japanese Gardens' car park.
Feb 1st, Visitors to Kildare will have the opportunity to experience hospitality and learn the craft of weaving Brigid crosses at Aras Bhride (the parish centre) and Kildare Heritage Centre.
At 1:30 pm, a gentle walk around the ancient monastic city of Kildare with Mario Corrigan. Assemble in the Market Square, at St. Brigid's Flame.
Jan 31st , tonight, Brigit eve ritual, music and cross-making led by Moya Roddy. Entry by donation, I suggest between €5 and €10 each, no booking required
Feb 3rd , Sunday, make Brigit's crosses, enjoy traditional music and Brigit traditions. Café open (incredible natural food and best scones), no booking required. Adult €7, Senior/Student €6, Child €4, Family €20
Here’s some links to my past articles for this season
This Is The Season Of Brigid
….. though I’m going to re-write this one shortly.