Making Brigid Cross


Celtic pagan goddess Brigit (left) and St Brigid, patroness saint of Ireland


This afternoon.

Free February 1.

Via Dublin City Council:

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland is inviting everyone to join in celebrating the contributions and achievements of women past and present on February 1st for Brigit 2022: Dublin City Celebrating Women.

Drawing inspiration from the Celtic goddess Brigit, associated with creativity and wisdom, and the traditional Gaelic festival of Imbolc, this exciting new programme of events is a city-wide opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Irish women through the ages, highlight their stories, promote their immense contribution to our society and welcome the beginning of Spring!

Brigit 2022

Julie H writes:

February 1 is St Brigid’s Day. Why is Dublin City Council celebrating a pagan goddess on the same day?


Pics: Wikipedia/Etsy

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71 thoughts on “Making Brigid Cross

  1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    sure Christianity is only a thin blanket on top of other more ancient beliefs particularly in Ireland, the church highjacked both holy locations, stories and feast dates for their own in an aim to make transition easier, same goes for Brigitte.

      1. Janet, dreams of a compétant government

        she was yes but she became conflated with the earlier goddess, suited them, Saint Brigid shares many of the goddess’s attributes and her feast day, 1 February, was originally a pagan festival (Imbolc) marking the beginning of spring. It has thus been argued that the saint is a Christianization of the goddess; a form of syncretism.[6]

        1. Bodger

          I’ve never heard of Brigit, but I do know St Brigid is cherished and revered in Ireland. Her cross is still everywhere. Holding this on the same day seems provocative.

          1. Janet, dreams of a compétant government

            I disagree, it’s a nod to our heritage,
            why should a day for ladies be conflated with just a Christian figure, that’s provocative :)

          2. Bodger

            Would you be happy for Cú Chulainn to replace St Patrick on March 17? At least people have heard of him.

          3. Janet, dreams of a compétant government

            I’m not a fan of saints, but a man who can run like a hound, that I can get behind,
            not sure I forgive Patrick for bringing all that malarkey to Ireland in the first place.

          4. Belgravy

            Yea, brigid is the one. Kinda surprised at your revisionism. Celebrating the start of spring is across so many cultures, surely we can celebrate our start of spring, that its for all and not just the papists.

          5. Belgravy

            Yea, brigid is the one. Kinda surprised at your revisionism. Celebrating the start of spring is across so many cultures, surely we can celebrate our start of spring, that its for all and not just the papists. And most kids have heard of cú culainn.

          6. Tarfton Clax

            It’s only provocative in your own head. Seriously, you’ve got to stop being offended and triggered all the time. It will do you no good.

          7. Bodger

            Tarfton, I worship Thor, as you know, but I respect the fact many Irish christians, especially women, pray to St Brigid and take her very seriously. Why mock them in this manner? Let them have their day.

          8. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            I am neither thanks for the concern,
            it’s an interesting debate, I love ancient history, I wish more of Irish culture was taught in schools.
            I was brought up to believe saints are false idols so tbh a ladies day for the previous Brigitte is more appealing to me but offended no, I couldn’t really give a flying.
            I was thinking more of all the ladies hurt by the Catholic church in that comment, maybe they would prefer a day in their honour without dragging in a saint ?
            What’s your opinion on a separate state and church ?

          9. I can't stand the rain

            Maybe this debate is pointless
            She was an oul wan going the road picking up rushes
            The end.

          10. I can't stand the rain

            Picking up rushes like a mad oul yoke and making crosses out of them seems particularly redundant.

      2. Doxxy Chainsaw

        “There is some debate over whether Brigid was a real person. There are few historical facts about her, and early hagiographies “are mainly anecdotes and miracle stories, some of which are deeply rooted in Irish pagan folklore”

  2. Doxxy Chainsaw

    The pagan goddess was here first. As usual, christianity stole the pagan festival for its own.

    1. Nigel

      Or pagans who became Christians adapted their old days of worship and deities to their new Christian beliefs in a process that probably took centuries. It wasn’t that long ago St Martin’s Day was more important in Ireland than Christmas and involved cutting the throat of a chicken.

      1. I can't stand the rain

        In my day, we couldn’t afford chickens and had to make do with the nearest toddler

  3. George

    It was a pagan festival first thought to be associated with the earlier Brigid. Christianity took it over later and associated it with the Christian Brigid.

        1. Bodger

          scottser, You probably had a Brigid’s cross in your kitchen. How would your Ma feel about her replacement?

          1. scottser

            i doubt she’d give a toss tbh.
            the granny had those weird statues in her bedroom tho, scary mary and big j with sacred heart. i’d say she would be giving it the big holy swear right now:
            ‘sweetandholymotherofthedevineandsacredbleedingheartofourlordandsaviourjesusCHRIST would ye get out of me feckn bedroom ya little bollix’

          1. Cú Chulainn

            Only in the Iron Age with The Celts. There is no evidence of human sacrifice in the bronze or Neolithic age. The original Bridget is Neolithic in origin and was the goddess who brought the land of Eireann in being. As she walked across the land her shimmering and gossamer cloak of green woke and breathe life into the grass and trees, the flowers and plants. Birds and butterflies and bees flew out from under her as she moved and the land became fertile. Livestock came from her. Where she touched her staff to the ground springs of fresh water sprang forth and rivers began to flow. Bridget whispered life into existence. Her sisters were Ériu, from whom we get the name Éire and Áine, mother goddess of summer. Áine (Ann) is the mother of god here and in the bible.

            It is thought that Ériu had replaced Boann, when the Bronze Age replaced the Neolithic, the Boyne is named after her. The Brigantine tribes of Britain were named after her from where we get Britain and Brittany. So, the concept of Bridget as goddess and mother and bringer of life and healing and water, predates the RC by at least 4,000 years. Nonetheless, when a Catholic in Ireland prays to Bridget – they are praying to same mother.

      1. George

        Sure let’s get upset about Halloween and knock down Newgrange while we’re at it. Brigid is part of Ireland’s cultural heritage.

      1. Doxxy Chainsaw

        The Patron saint of Pro Choice who performed an abortion on a nun.
        (From Bodger’s Wiki link) “She is associated with the preservation of a nun’s chastity in unusual circumstances. Liam de Paor (1993) and Connolly & Picard (1987), in their complete translations of Cogitosus, give substantially the same translation  of the account of Brigid’s ministry to a nun who had failed to keep her vow of chastity, and become pregnant. In the 1987 translation: “A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through the youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance.”

        1. I can't stand the rain

          What a heroine. How fitting that they want to give her a national day. Give her 840 of them

  4. Mr.T

    Why call it Brigit? Why not tie it in to existing Imbolc celebrations?

    Who has ever heard of Brigit as opposed to St Brigid? Needlessly confusing

    1. Janet, dreams of a compétant government

      interestingly there is a school of thought that all goddesses in Ireland could be called Brigit; suggesting that it “may have been more of a title than a personal name”.

      1. Mr.T

        Having just seen the pictures added – I am now on the side that we should be celebrating Brigit with the fiery hair. She’s a smoking hot babe

  5. U N M U T U A L

    Let me see if I got this right…

    Dublin city are acknowledging the contributions of Irish women through the ages… and they choose to name the event after an… imaginary deity?

  6. Ian-oG

    Why not give paganism and christianity two big slash hooks, throw them into a stake filled pit and whichever manages to crawl out gets the day?

    Sound fair?

  7. freewheeling

    You don’t get the Brits calling for St. George’s Day to be renamed (King) Arthur’s Day do you? Says a lot about us really – obsessed with religious atavism. We were Catholic and proud of it, just accept that, and stop trying to pretend it never happened.

    1. George

      When Catholicism controlled this island we weren’t proud people were full of shame.

      You could just as easily argue that he people of Ireland weren’t Catholic for a long time before they were.

  8. ANO

    Pagan Brigit looks cool as fupp, hope the event is huge success.

    It’s not hard to see why you wouldn’t want a celebration of women to be linked with the Catholic church but having it clash with their similarly named saint’s day is probably something that could’ve been avoided.

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      yeah it didn’t need any divinity, sure aren’t Irish ladies divine enough

  9. The Millie Obnoxious™

    Here’s a nice little podcast doing a retelling of the story of Brigid. Worth a listen and certainly they offer a few insights into the pagan story and how it was incorporated by the Catholic church.

  10. Termagant

    Do the “Perfidious papists, always stealing goddesses” crowd judge the Voodoo worshippers equally harshly for “stealing” St. Brigid from the transported Irish indentured servants back in the day, turning her into their Maman Brigitte?

  11. George

    People have commented a few times to ask what broadsheet is going to do when Covid-19 is gone and it seems we have our answer. Appeal to Gript/Fox news types with war on Christmas style faux-outrage.

    This post is the kind of thing you get from Gemma O’Doherty.

    1. Cú Chulainn

      We’re going to focus on the gee. All this covid chat is just a sort of foreplay before we thrust into the main event.. some of us are gagging for it.. geegagging .. there’s a new word I just invented.. enjoy..

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