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    Winter Festivals
    Saint Brigid's Day

    In the old days February 1st was considered the start of the growth season. After Christianity was introduced, Saint Brigid (Bridie) was honored instead of the pagan gods.

    In many places in rural Ireland people still make Brigid Crosses to honor her.

    Pageants take place at schools and churches with young women carrying green rushes.

    On the eve of this festival, crosses are woven of rushes and hung for a year above the doors of houses and barns. These crosses are believed to protect the house and the livestock from harm and fire. No evil spirit is told can pass through these charms.

    A small folk play is enacted in which a girl playing the part of Brigid brings rushes to the door and is allowed inside. She blesses the family, eats with them, and helps them make crosses.

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