Hello! In this lesson Múinteoir Clíona talks about Ireland’s rich history and how traditions change over time.
What are considered Roman Catholic traditions actually have ties to Ireland’s pagan traditions.
One of those traditions is St Brigid’s Day which is celebrated on 1 February. The day is also known as Imbolc, which is a pagan festival belonging to Brigid, the Celtic goddess.
Imbolc was celebrated with massive bonfires across Ireland.
St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc is a time to celebrate that winter will soon be over. You will notice that the days are getting brighter and by the time of 1 February, it will still be bright after 5pm! That is worth celebrating isn’t it!
Traditions from both the pagan celebration of Imbolc and the Christian celebration of St Brigid’s Day can still be found in the making of the Brigid cross or a Brigid corn doll.
And what's what we are going to make today, your very own Brigid doll or a 'brídeog.’
Here’s what you’ll need: straw, hay, ribbon and scissors! If you don’t have straw or hay, why not use wool or paper? And if you don’t have ribbons, you can use old shoe laces or more wool!
You can download the activity sheet, including a fun quiz here...
Agus as Gaeilge ANSEO!
Gather about 14 pieces of straws or whatever material you are using together. The length should be around 12 inches, the size of your ruler.
Tape one end of the straw to a table and then plait or twist the hay together. After you have a nice thick bundle tight together, fold it in half. Then tie the ends of both ends together using the ribbon, leaving about an inch at the top, like below. This loop is the arms of your doll!
Next, gather more hay or wool or whatever material you are using. Try and use at least 24 pieces of wool or hay or whatever you are using, the more the better. You can see Cliona has used lots of hay. This will form the body of your doll.
Like last time, line all your pieces up so that they are the same length. Now take the arms you made and push your new pieces through the middle of it, like below. Once you push half of your material through, fold it in half over the loop.
Next, leave about three inches, or a finger length of hay or wool ABOVE the arms. This is going to be the dolls head.
Take your ribbon and tie a tight loop above the arms, so it looks like below. This will be your doll's head.
Then tie another loop below the arms, where you think the doll’s belly will be!
Your doll should be taking shaping. Now you can start adding your own touches to your doll. You can add a cool headband or how about adding some pretty flowers or colours to her dress?
Did you know...
St Brigid is of course not the only saint from Ireland. Ireland has lots of saints and is sometimes called the "land of Saints and Scholars." This is because from the 6th to 9th century, a period sometimes called the Dark Ages, Ireland was a place where monks spread learning and Christianity to the rest of Europe.
Have fun and make sure to send show us how your dolls turned out: Upload your cool content here!