What does St Brigid's Cross represent?
February 1st is an important date in the Irish calendar - it marks the departure of winter and heralds the arrival of spring. In Ireland, this date is also celebrated as the feast day of the second Patron, St. Brigid. She is also referred to as Muire na nGael or "Mary of the Gael”.
St. Brigid’s is a renowned patroness, well-known as “Our Lady of the Irish”. She rendered remarkable services in the spreading of Christianity and founded a double monastery for both nuns and monks. The people of Ireland associate her feast day as the festival of fertility, protection, and happiness. They celebrate February 1st by lighting a bonfire, then smothering the flames, placing bread on a window ledge, and hanging the St Brigid’s Cross in her honor. This Irish Cross holds utmost importance.
People hang St Brigid’s Cross in their homes to receive blessings from the patroness and to keep them protected from evil and fire. It symbolizes the arrival of spring, warmth, colors, and happiness. This beautiful cross is also popularly used by contemporary and modern Irish stylists in jewelry, household décor, and for gifts. It’s traditional for St. Brigid’s Crosses to be made from plants named “rushes” and hung on doors, windowsills, and in the rafters of the homes; in order to drive evil, hunger, and diseases away.
The St Brigid’s Cross is a special Irish Christian symbol that has a woven square center surrounded by four radials. It is considered to be a perfect gift for newlyweds. In Ireland, it symbolizes joy, love, and blessings for newlyweds and their new homes.
The traditional customs of the Brat Bride and the Miracle of the Cloak are famous in Irish Éire. The Celts observe the festival by hanging a small piece of ribbon or cloth on the rafters of their home, on windowsills, and doors. It is believed that on the eve of her feast day, Mary of the Gael visits the homes, touches the Brat Bride, and endows her blessings to ward off evil from the house and keep any illnesses at bay.
St Brigid is considered to be an iconic Irish patroness and her heritage continues to this day. Furthermore, St.Brigid’s Cross is a strong meaningful symbol that carries on her legacy, finding its way to the homes of many newlyweds.