Lá ‘le Bhríde

“Anois teacht an Earraigh

Beidh an lá ag dul chun síneadh

Is tar éis na Féile Bhríde

Ardeoidh mé mo sheoil

Ó Chuir mé i mo chean é

Is ní stopfaidh mé coíche

Go seasa mé síos

I lár chontdae Mhaigh Eó”

Snowdrops- harbinger of Spring

We’ve had New Year’s Day on January 1st, as ordained by the Gregorian Calendar. January 23rd ushered in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dragon and now, tomorrow is the day of Imbolc, the first day of spring in the Celtic New Year, known in the Catholic tradition as the feast day of Saint Brigid.  Such a lot of opportunities to start again!

Raftery, the blind poet, wrote the above lines to celebrate the coming of spring. Being a travelling man, he loved the arrival of milder weather and longer days, when he could take to the roads again.

It translates like this, and is a clarion-call of optimism for anyone who ever learned these lines in Irish

” Now at the start of Spring

There will be a stretch in the days

and after the feast day of St.Brigid

I’ll hoist my sail

O I’ve got it in my head

And nothing will stop me

Until I’m standing

In the middle of County Mayo”

I have no recipe to post to honour this occasion.

Instead we’ll have an all Irish Cheeseboard when family are over at the weekend. Some Glebe Brethan, if they have any at honest2goodness.ie market in Glasnevin on Saturday next (it’s late in the season, I know) ; Cashel or Crozier blue, Ardrahan, Cooleeney and some of Sheridan’s crackers.

After all, St.Brigid was a legendary carer for and healer of cows.

I can’t think of a better tribute to her, nor to our Celtic New Year.

About haysparks

Viewing the world, the human condition, our history, evolution and health through the prism of food.
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6 Responses to Lá ‘le Bhríde

  1. WiseMona says:

    It sounds like a lovely way to celebrate St. Brigids day. I am especially fond of those crackers from Sheridans. Tomorrow is also my husbands birthday so we may have to sacrifice the Irish celebration over his ‘american’ birthday and my Mum just informed me that it is also National Grandparents day? Wow… packed to the hilt is this February 1st!

  2. haysparks says:

    Lots of reasons to raise a glass, Móna! Who cares about the nationality…have a great celebration.

  3. Ailbhe says:

    Don’t forget the Killeen cheeses too!

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