To celebrate the Irish traditional festival of Brigid’s Day, the Embassy of Ireland and the Irish Mammies in NZ warmly welcome women and girls of all ages to a special online gathering to celebrate Brigid’s Day.
In Ireland, the first of February marks the beginning of Spring and the celebration of Lá Fhéile Bríde, St Brigid’s Day, Ra O Hato Brigid. Like many of Ireland’s other feast days, Brigid’s roots lie in the Celtic festival of Imbolc, the feast of the goddess Brigid, celebrated at least five millennia ago. In old Irish, Imbolc means “in the belly”, a reference to lambing and the renewal spring promises.
Brigid was a triple goddess – of healing, fire, and of poetry – and the saint who took her name, born in 450 AD, carried some of those same associations. The patron saint of poets and midwives, by legend, she maintained a sacred fire by the monastery she founded in Kildare. Alongside St Patrick and St Columcille, she is also one of Ireland’s three patron saints.
Her name can be translated as “the exalted one”. And, over recent years, her festival has come to be a exaltation of Irish women. Ireland’s diplomatic network, in partnership with local communities, host a series of festivals each February celebrating the contribution Irish women have made across the world.
This St Brigid’s Day event is a programme brought to you by the Department of Foreign Affairs.