Feb. the 1st is the feast day of Irelands beloved St Brigid. But it is also an old Irish celebration of Imbolc, or the beginning of Spring. Imbolc is one of the four major fire festivals in Ireland, and it celebrates the start of the light and ending of the Dark. The Days are starting to get longer and the dark winter nights are over.
All over Ireland in the National schools, children up to the age of 12 are making St Brigid Crosses out of rushes. I remember making them as a child and my children also made them. We would bless them with holy water and bring them home. It was always a sign of good luck when you got a St Brigid's cross on the 1st of Feb.
Imbolc is the very old Irish word for "in the Belly", ewes are pregnant and they give birth during the Spring.
St Brigid herself was a great healer, and scholar. She went around the country healing people and animals alike. There are many St Brigid wells scattered around Ireland and to this day they are known for the healing properties, for such things as eye ailments, back problems and many more sicknesses.
St Brigid is, of course, but one of the many saints associated with Ireland. There are over 300 saints who's names are synonymous with Ireland.
People all around the world know of St Patrick's Day, and of course everybody is Irish on the 17th March, but we also have St Kevin who's name is associated with St Kevins round tower in Glendalough. I could go on and on about the Saints of Ireland and indeed no wonder that Ireland used to be called "The Island of Saints and Scholars".
Well, the Saints are not there anymore, but they did leave beautiful ancient sites, Abbeys, monastery's and Holy Wells for us to visit. There are amazing shrines all over Ireland and there are always local stories of strange happenings around these sites.
On nearly every trip we have advertised for 2016 we will be visiting at least one of these sites and listening to some of the locals tell us about the magic of the place.
Our Island Hopping tours are special in that there are some ancient sites on the Islands off the West coast of Ireland that you won't find anywhere else. Our North West tours, or as we like to call it, "Our Home Tours" have many special places that are unique to the North West of Ireland.
Our Sunny South East Luxury tour, is a special tour in that it covers St Kevins round tower of Glendalough and also St Canice's Cathedral in Kilkenny. But you will see much, much more that just shrines and round tower's throughout all of our trips.
We have the most beautiful scenery to show you, both coastal and inland. We have beautiful beach walks and forest parks, and the magic of it all is this.... you get to hear stories about all these places by the locals in the local pubs when we go and socialize at night. We have music throughout all of the tours, daytime and night time. It is a free for all, and visitors are welcome to join in if they wish.
So here's to St Brigid's Day.
Let you days be full of Health and laughter, and your nights be full of Peace and love.
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