Celebrating St. Brigid’s Day: The Significance of Brigid’s Cross

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
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November 23, 2023
a gold st brigid's cross pendant
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Saint Brigid of Kildare, also known as Brigid of Ireland or Naomh Bríd in Irish, is a revered figure in Irish folklore and history.

Born at Faughart, just outside Dundalk, Co. Louth in 451 AD, St. Brigid was a Christian nun and abbess who founded the first monastery in Co. Kildare and who also devoted her life to helping the poor and spreading Christianity throughout Ireland.

Today, she is celebrated as one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is known for her legendary kindness, charity, and ‘helping’ miracles. To honour her legacy, the Irish government recently declared St. Brigid's Day a public holiday to be celebrated on the first Monday of February every year.

This new holiday is planned as a way to celebrate Ireland’s rich culture, history, and heritage, as well as a way for the government to recognise the enormous sacrifices made by Irish people during the Covid-19 pandemic and to highlight better times ahead.

The Significance of Brigid's Cross

One of the most recognisable symbols of St. Brigid is the Brigid's cross.

This traditional Irish cross is made from rushes or straw and is said to have originated from St. Brigid herself. Legend has it that St. Brigid made the first Brigid's cross as she sat by the sick bed of a dying pagan chieftain – possibly her father.

Whilst soothing him with stories about her faith and her unwavering trust in God, St. Brigid picked up rushes from the ground to make a cross.
The Brigid's cross stands a symbol of protection, hope, and renewal, and has been used in Ireland for centuries as a talisman against evil and to ward off misfortune.

The interwoven design of the cross is said to represent the weaving together of the different threads of life, symbolising the idea that everything remains connected under God.

How the Brigid's Cross is Used

The Brigid's cross is made by braiding rushes or straw into a simple cross shape.

This cross is an important symbol in Irish culture and has a number of uses and rituals associated with it. One of the most well-known uses of the Brigid's cross is as a symbol of protection.

Traditionally, a fresh cross is made every year and is placed above doorways and windows in homes and other buildings to ward off evil for those who live and work within.

This tradition dates back centuries and is still widely practiced today during St. Brigid's Day celebrations on February 1st.

The Importance of Brigid's Cross in Irish Jewellery

Another common use of the Brigid's cross is as a wearable talisman or good luck jewellery charm.

This is especially prevalent during times of change or uncertainty, such as moving to a new home or starting a new job.

As a now popular design element in Irish jewellery, pieces featuring the Brigid's cross can be found in many different styles and forms – from delicate pendants to bold statement pieces. These pieces are often made from sterling silver or gold and come in a range of styles to suit different tastes.

Looking for a Special Piece of Irish Jewellery Inspired by the Brigid’s Cross?

At Martin Gear Jewellers, we feature a range of Brigid's cross inspired jewellery.

These pieces are made from high-quality materials and are designed to embody the beauty, elegance, and cultural significance of this iconic symbol.

To learn more, simply drop into our store, or give us a call on (01) 872 8726.

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