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Celebrate St. Brigid the traditional way at the National Museum of Ireland

Learn how to make your own St. Brigid's Cross 


St. Brigid is Ireland’s only female patron saint and crosses made in her honour are still a familiar sight in many Irish homes today.  The feast day of St. Brigid on Feb 1st was one of the most important days of the year for our rural ancestors. It marked the beginning of spring which would bring with it longer days and better weather.

Prior to this special day, on St. Brigid’s Eve, a festive meal of potatoes and butter was eaten and all of the family then made special St. Brigid’s crosses in her honour. These crosses were believed to offer protection to families and their farms for the year ahead.

Each year new crosses were made by the family and the old ones were put into the underside of the thatch in houses. You could tell how long someone had been in a house by the number of crosses that were stuck in the rafters.

To learn how to make your own St. Brigid’s Cross you can join us on Sunday 27th of January in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, where our education team will guide you through the process. This 2 hour event, which runs from 2pm until 4pm, has something for all the family and will give an insight into the history, customs and traditions around St. Brigid’s Day.

You’ll also be able to see the range of displays, objects, photography and archive footage on display in the museum associated with St. Brigid.

The display features the ‘Biddy Boys’, a band of men who went from home to home with an effigy of St. Brigid - offering her blessings in exchange for money and food to throw a party in her honour, as well as showing the festive meals of potatoes and butter made on the eve of February 1st.

If you would like to know how to make a St. Brigid’s cross but can’t visit the museum – we made a video to explain how it's done.

EVENT   Make a St. Brigid’s Cross
Where:    National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Day/Date:   Sunday January 27th
Time:   2pm-4pm
Booking Required: No