Celebrate St. Brigid’s Feast Day – Traditions And Resources

Saint Brigid of Kildare is a well known Irish Saint, and the feast day of St. Brigid happens every year on February 1. This is a super fun feast day to incorporate when living the liturgical year at home! You can read here about how to celebrate Saint feast days at home with your kids, and you can find more Saints to celebrate in February here. Today, let’s look at some ideas to Celebrate St. Brigid’s feast day!

 

St. Brigid Quick Facts

I always find it easiest to teach kids and to plan my feast day celebration when I know about the day first myself, so to start, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of St. Brigid’s life and her feast day traditions. 

  • Feast day February 1
  • Irish
  • Also known as Brigit, Bridget, and Bride of Ireland
  • St. Brigid and St. Patrick are both the patron Saints of Ireland 
  • Known for distributing butter to the poor (as a sign of prosperity)
  • Born near Kildare
  • Was baptized by St. Patrick
  • Established the oldest monastery in Ireland 
  • She has many famous stories and miracles including legends about: her cloak, butter, a fox, a cow, and many others
  • Patron Saint of Ireland, poets, scholars, farmers, children who’s parents are not married, new babies, fertility, nursing mothers, and dairy workers
  • Known for making crosses from grass (St. Brigid’s Cross)

I want to insert here that the feast day of St. Brigid falls on the old Irish festival of Imbolc, which is the coming of Spring and the starting of longer days. So some of the traditions of this day are wrapped into this Irish culture, as well as their old goddess, Brigid, who shares St. Brigid’s name. When Ireland was converted to Christianity, some of these old traditions got translated into feast day celebrations for St. Brigid.  You can read more about the life of St. Brigid here.

Ok, I think we are ready to look at some ways to celebrate St. Brigid with kids! 

Links share may be affiliate links, meaning if you click through and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

St. Brigid Picture Books For Kids

I haven’t found St. Brigid in my go to Saint treasury books, but there is a picture book about her that we absolutely love! It’s called Brigid’s Cloak, An Ancient Irish Story. The story is beautifully written and the illustrations are colorful and beautiful. I totally recommend this book, and you may be able to request it through your local library. Our library totally has it! Or you can purchase your own copy here. This story also seems perfect for following the Christmas season. 

You can actually watch a beautiful reading of this book for free below! 

 

More Picture books about St. Brigid:

You can also go to this site and scroll down to print a free story of St. Brigid and the Fox. This free printable will not disappoint! It also has a little page for the kids to illustrate included. 

St. Brigid Printables For Kids

I have an Irish Saint set that includes St. Brigid as a stand up craft, and you can grab your Irish Saint pack here. I love this pair together, and St. Patrick’s feast day is right around the corner, so I’m sure you will love having both!

Traditional St. Brigid’s Crosses

It is said that St. Brigid converted a dying pagan by fashioning a cross out of the only thing she had available- reeds. These improvised crosses are now a staple of this feast day celebration!
 
St. Brigid’s crosses are made and exchanged between friends and family. They can also be hung above the door of your house where they’re thought welcome visitors, and protect the home and those who live within. Traditionally people also placed these crosses in their rafters, and they were thought to protect the home from fire and lightning.
 
St. Brigid’s Cross Poem
Author, unknown (1735)
 
St. Brigid’s Cross hung over the door,
which did the house from fire secure,
and tho’ the dogs and servants slept,
by Brigid’s care, the house was kept.
 
I have a free printable that includes a printable version of this poem. Head over to this post to download yours for free.
 
 
I have some step by step directions for making your own St. Brigid’s cross. This is pretty easy, and they come out so cute! You don’t need the straw to make these, either. You can make yours with pipe cleaner. 
 
 
I also have a how to draw video that shows you step by step how to draw a St. Brigid’s cross. This is a cool video because it’s just the way you put these straight lines together than creates a neat optical illusion! This video is totally free. 
 
 

Traditional St. Brigid’s Doll Craft

I found many traditions about making dolls on this feast day. These dolls are called the “Brideóg” and they represent St. Brigid herself. They can range from making corn husk dolls to making dolls from straw or strips of cloth. These dolls were traditionally taken door to door or friends and neighbors would come over to see the doll the night before the feast day. Sometimes the girls would dress up like St. Brigid and take the doll door to door receiving treats, much like today’s modern version of trick or treating.
 
A great modern version of this could be to make a yarn doll. I have some really great step by step directions here for making your own yarn doll. If you wanted to make your doll a little more rustic to match the theme of this feast day, you could even make a yarn doll using twine.
 
 
You could also easily convert this sock Baby Jesus craft into a St. Brigid’s doll. In fact, even as Baby Jesus, this craft would pair PERFECTLY with the picture book St. Brigid’s Cloak. There is no sewing involved to make these dolls and they come out so cute!!!
 

St. Brigid’s Feast Day Recipes

St. Brigid’s Bread Recipe

There’s a traditional recipe that is eaten on this feast day called St. Brigid’s bread. It is a simple oat based bread that doesn’t require any yeast, but does call for buttermilk. I would say other than that you probably have all the ingredients you need to back this at home! You can find a recipe for St. Brigid’s bread here



Dairy foods are also traditionally eaten on this feast day as her mother worked on a dairy farm. 

How To Make Butter For St. Brigid’s Feast Day

There are many different legends of St. Brigid and butter, making butter another staple for this feast day! You can easily “churn” your own butter

  • Fill a glass jar half way with room temperature heavy whipping cream
  • Put a marble inside, put the lid on, and shaking it vigorously
  • Shake past the whipped cream stage. It takes a little while so definitely switch off people between shaking!
  • Pour the excess liquid out of the jar and enjoy your butter! (Also, the liquid that you pour off the butter after it’s churned is “butter milk”, so you can use that to bake your bread. Score!)

My kids love doing this and it’s the perfect topping for your St. Brigid’s bread. 

More St. Brigid Recipes

Over on the Clondalkin Village Parish has many amazing printable about St. Brigid for free, including a page of recipes! You can find the page with the links to these St. Brigid downloads here. Here are some of the free downloads they have available from this page:

  • St. Brigid’s feast day recipes-5 feast day recipes with directions that all fit on just 2 pages!
  • A free printable story of St. Brigid and the Fox
  • A St. Brigid Booklet

There is some really good stuff there! 

More Saint Brigid Feast Day Traditions

St. Brigid’s Mantel Tradition

It is said that St. Brigid traveled across Ireland the eve of her feast day, so on St. Brigid’s Eve, each member of the family can leave a piece of fabric or a scarf hung outside for St. Brigid to bless. These pieces of fabric are called “Brigid’s Mantel” and were to help in fertility and childbirth for women, and even thought to heal headaches keep fishermen from drowning. 

Butter and salt could also be left out for St. Brigid to bless. Sometimes the people also leave hay outside for St. Brigid’s cow to eat. This is still a tradition in Ireland today! 

St. Brigid’s Day Charity Basket Tradition

In some villages it was traditional to make baskets and give them to their less fortunate neighbors on the feast of St. Brigid. Traditionally these baskets might include mutton, fowl, pieces of cake, bread, butter, and pork. You could try checking out how I made blessing bags with children, or you could collect food for a local food pantry. St. Brigid herself was known for her charity, so this would be a great way to celebrate!

I also found this video about Irish traditions on this day interesting, although not really for children. 

More February Feast Day Resources

I hope you found some of these ideas useful for learning about St. Brigid with your kids! You can find more resources for living liturgically in February here.

Check out my new printable liturgical calendar for Catholics! This includes all your major feast days and liturgical seasons along with holy days of obligation, solemnities, liturgical colors, well known Saint feast days, and more! This easy to use and beautiful calendar will be your best friend when planning out your liturgical year at home. There is both a free option and a paid option for downloading this liturgical calendar, so click here to find your options for downloading your own liturgical calendar

Comments

  1. Great links here – Thank you so much!

  2. KathyCarol says

    I believe that book Brigid’s Cloak is about the Sweedish Saint Brigid. The Irish saint St Brigid’s cloak by Reg Keaating is about the Irish saint.. I will try to post more resources after Easter about Saint Bridget.

  3. Mom of 6 here in SC, I recently found out I am 50% Irish! I received a St. Brigid’s cross for my wedding 23 years ago and it is still hanging today! I have been diving into my heritage more and loved this post! I already put the book on hold at the library and love the butter idea too with my homeschoolers! We will be celebrating St Brigid on Feb. 1. Thanks Lacy!

  4. Lacy, Thank you so much! Through the years your crafts and activities have been a wonderful blessing.

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