The Brat Bhride or Brigid’s Cloak was laid outside before sunset on the eve of Brigid’s Feast Day, 1st February, and brought back in before sunrise. Blessed by Brigid, ancient Spring Goddess and Saint, the dew which fell that night imbued the cloth with powers of healing and protection which lasted throughout the year. It would be kept in a special place in the house and brought out as needed when illness occurred by wrapped around the head to cure a headache or used by midwives to help women in childbirth, for Brigid was especially known as being the patron of healers and midwives. It was used on sick animals also, especially cows and sheep for which Brigid had a special affinity.
The aim of this project is to promote a revival of the Brat Bhride tradition across Ireland at a community level, given that Brigid has been recently recognised and awarded her own national holiday. Colaiste Iosagain Portarlington, transition year students and the Portarlington Active Over 55’s club we will be creating and collaborating together in a shared environment, The Makerspace in the Portarlington Enterprise Centre to make Brat Bhride scarves/shawls through the reuse of old materials and discussing activities and memories traditionally associated with St. Brigids Day. For further details visit www.portartcollective.ie
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.