Starting next year in February 2023, Ireland will honour St. Brigid's Feast day (February 1st) with a state holiday to be held each year on the Monday closest to February 1st.
Mary Condren in The Irish Times explains why now is the right time for Brigid to be given this honour. She writes:
The decision recognises the rising interest in the figure of Brigid and the role of women in Irish society.
In a post-Covid world, we will be able to reflect further on her role, asking how the integration of nature, culture and technology can serve to heal our wounds and the vulnerable earth.
Given the myriad challenges we experience on our beloved island, Woman Spirit Ireland has for the last 30 years organised and resourced festivals of Brigid in Ireland and abroad.
St Brigid’s successors, the great abbesses of Kildare, were known as those who turned back the streams of war. In their spirit, we aimed to excavate, meditate, and liberate Brigid’s traditions to empower women and to bring about a new springtime in Irish spiritual consciousness, especially for those who have turned away from traditional religious forms.
Brigid’s sheltering famous cloak gathered women of all traditions. Traditional religious persons honoured St Brigid. The disaffected and disinclined turned to the figure of a goddess: Brigid, the poet, healer and smithworker.
In our festivals we work non-verbally, through music, dance, poetry and Brigid’s most famous symbols: her cloak, cross and crios (her girdle).