An immersive tour around Saint Brigid’s Day this year aims to reveal the fascinating life and legacy of Saint Brigid.
The Legacy of Saint Brigid Tour introduces participants to Ireland’s female patron saint, describing her as an “icon who is revered across the world for her work with the poor and the marginalized.”
Saint Brigid is one of Ireland’s three patron saints, together with St Patrick and St Colmcille, and is honored in Ireland each year on Feb. 1st.
The tour is led by Brigid Watson, a local guide and environmentalist with a passion for Christian heritage in the Downpatrick, County Down area.
It is available Feb. 1-4 at the Saint Patrick’s Centre in Downpatrick, County Down.
The center is the only permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to Saint Patrick, telling his story through several interactive, high-tech, and audio-visual presentations.
It is also close to where the three patron saints are buried at the Church of Ireland Down Cathedral.
The center also houses a display about Brigid and the ancient traditions associated with her, as well as one on the ancient pagan goddess, also known as Brigid or Brid, who is an important figure in Irish mythology.
The saint’s feast day has also been linked to the Celtic goddess and the ancient festival of Imbolc, the first of the four major fire festivals from Gaelic Ireland.
A new public holiday in Ireland on the first Monday in February (this year, it falls on Feb.8th) marks both Saint Brigid’s Day and Imbolc.
What to Expect on the Tour
Participants on the Legacy of Saint Brigid Tour will get the chance to make Saint Brigid’s crosses from rushes, an ancient tradition that is still practised today in the run-up to the holiday.
Following the activity, participants will take a short walk to visit the grave of the three saints.
The town of Downpatrick, where you can also find St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, is an important ecclesiastic center on the island of Ireland and is the end point of Saint Patrick’s Way: The Pilgrim Walk, which stretches for 130 km/80 miles and includes 10 locations that were important in the life of Patrick.
The Importance of Brigid in 2024
This year marks 1,500 years since the death of Brigid, which is being marked by the Brigid 1500 festival which takes place in several locations in County Kildare through Feb. 6.
The festival includes an extensive line-up of events that celebrate Saint Brigid in a contemporary way while still highlighting her life and legacy.
Tickets for the legacy tour are £35 each.