February 1st is St. Brigid’s Day.
Saint Brigit of Kildare, also known as Brigit of Ireland, is one of Ireland’s patron saints. Today, is her feast day. Her name has various spellings: Brigid, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd, and Bride. She is also known as Mary of the Gael. She was an Irish nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries of nuns, including Kildare in Ireland.
She is strongly associated with Imbolc and the beginning of spring. In an attempt to bring pagans into the Catholic Church, Bridget was Sainted and Imbolc evolved into Candlemas (held on February 2nd.)
- It is believed St. Brigid visits with her red-eared cow the night before and blesses people and livestock. It is customary to leave an oat cake for her and straw for her cow on the windowsill.
- A ribbon or a strip of cloth is hung on a tree to be blessed by the saint. These are called “St. Brigid’s Mantle.”
- Brigid Crosses are woven out of rushes or straw.