Celebrating St. Brigid's Day Traditions

January 27, 2021

Celebrating St. Brigid's Day Traditions

At Walker Metalsmiths we follow the tradition of making a new Saint Brigid cross design every year. The feast day of Saint Brigid is February 1st, beginning the spring season of Imbolc. The folk custom of weaving a cross out of grass or reeds is done in memory of the story about how Brigid made a similar cross herself, from the rushes on the floor, while telling the story of Christ’s Passion at the bedside of a dying pagan chieftain. The woven grass cross is displayed over the door or hearth invoking Brigid’s blessing on the home, while last year’s cross is fed to the family cow or horse, for good luck.

A reed cross seen photographed at Saint Brigid's well on Dun I, Isle of Iona, Scotland.

Our jewelry making process takes longer than weaving straw, so we start our annual cross projects in the week before February 1st. Feeding gold or silver jewelry to your animals is not likely to go well, so we advise our customers to treat their Saint Brigid crosses as heirlooms, to be kept for a lifetime and passed to future generations, just as these stories and traditions have been passed on to us from previous generations.

St. Brigid's Spiral Cross in Sterling Silver. 
Stephen Walker at Saint Brigid's well on Dun I, Isle of Iona, Scotland, 2017. Saint Brigid's well is a pool of water near the summit of Dun I, the highest point on the island. This remarkable pool of water is believed to have healing properties. It was described in the 1905 classic Celtic Revival book "Isle of Dreams" by Fiona MacLeod. 

Brigid lived in the 5th and 6th centuries in Ireland. Along with Patrick and Columba, she is considered one of Ireland’s three patron saints. Many customs and legends are associated with Brigid. She is said to have been baptized by Saint Patrick near the end of his earthly life, to have travelled through time to give care and assistance at the birth of Christ, and to have performed many miracles and acts of kindness and devotion. 

Shop our collection of St. Brigid's Jewelry.



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