Northern Ireland news

The making of a St Brigid's Cross


Irish News photographer Mal McCann visited Raidío Fáilte in west Belfast this week where a workshop on making St Brigid's Crosses was being held


Brigid was a Celtic goddess whose influence spread across Europe long before Christianity. Picture by Mal McCann


Brigid is a triple goddess – the goddess of healing symbolised by the element of water, goddess of the alchemical force of fire and goddess of poetry. Picture by Mal McCann


St Brigid's Day is celebrated in Ireland on February 1. Picture by Mal McCann


The pre-Celtic pagan goddess and the Christian saint appear to have merged over the centuries. Picture by Mal McCann


St Brigid was born in AD 450 in County Louth and is said to have had a great love for animals and to have been a champion of the poor. She is credited with founding many monasteries. Picture by Mal McCann


In the Republic of Ireland St Brigid's Day is a new national holiday and the first named in honour of a woman. Picture by Mal McCann


The famous St Brigid's Cross is usually made from rushes. A standard format is four arms tied at the centre with a woven square. However, three-armed crosses have also been seen throughout history. Picture by Mal McCann




Northern Ireland news