St. Brigid's Day

The beginning of Spring comes in late March according to our calendar, but of old in Ireland it was the first of February that marked the beginning of the coming of Spring. It was a feast, Imbolc, before it became a Christian feast day. This hymn in Gaelic is from the 11th century, in honor of St. Brigid, one of those early saints who is possibly a historical abbess, and possibly a goddess.


Tom said...

I think the choice of a roughly mid-solstice-equinox beginning for spring was common before the modern era. The Chinese new year is also about the mid-point of the winter solstice and spring equinox.

Grim said...

That's a good point, although I don't know if that makes it common or just is an occasion of two data points! Still, it's plausible enough. People look forward to spring, now as ever.