Féile Bríde – Brigid’s Festival is a week- long series of events commencing on the eve of St.Brigid’s Day, the first day of February.
Féile Bríde, incorporates a Peace and Justice conference in collaboration with Afri – Action from Ireland, workshops, and a candle lit ritual on Brigid’s Eve at the well. Pilgrimage and a Peace and Justice Conference are core components. The secular and the sacred are intertwined. There is something for everybody. Local school children dramatise the legends of Brigid. Brigid crosses are woven by young and old. The celebration of Eucharist and other creative rituals are conducted in the local churches. The pilgrimage and ritual at St. Brigid’s well on January 31st draws hundreds of people from near and far. The customs associated with Brigid are celebrated. Artists entertain those who come to a feast of poetry, music, song and ceili (Irish dancing.) The exciting growth and success of the Feile has its source in the energy and efforts of the community from which it sprung.
“Since 1993, at the start of every February, I have watched large groups of men and women gather in my home county of Kildare. They come to welcome the beginning of spring.Tthey come to Kildare because it is the home of Brigid, whose feast day is February 1st. Brigid is the goddess of love, poetry, justice in prechristian Ireland, and she is the patron saint of Kildare..
People also come to Kildare at this time, to speak about justice in the world, or lack of it.
There is reflection, talk, music and dance. It is not a big trendy festival, but a gathering of people who want to celebrate the coming of spring, and who want to call Brigids’ qualities into the world, to light a spark for change.
And every year we gather to welcome the light into our world; and to hope that more light will shine in the world; and that someday out of the darkness of war, hunger, greed, poverty, will come the light of community, sharing, justice, music, dance, peace and love.”