St Brigid’s traditions live on in Kildare Feile

The spirit of St. Brigid is alive and thriving in Kildare town with the start of Feile Bhride 2012 last weekend.

The spirit of St. Brigid is alive and thriving in Kildare town with the start of Feile Bhride 2012 last weekend.

Sr Mary Minehan is really excited about this year’s programme.

“It is our 20th Feile Bhride and every year we think it gets better. The theme is ‘ancient wisdom for new times’ and we are drawing on the wisdom of the past to illuminate the present and we want to use it inspire us as we move into the future,” she explained.

The festival began on Sunday January 29 with a St. Brigid’s cross weaving workshop at Aras Bhride in Kildare town, which followed a historic Monastic City walk led by Mario Corrigan.

Tuesday January 31 saw one of the highlights of the feile - Brigid’s Eve Ritual at St. Brigid’s Well. This gentle pilgrimage of quiet reflection, song and prayer on the eve of springtime begins at 7.20p.m. at Japanese Gardens’ car park. Other highlights of the week will included on the Curragh on Wednesday February 1 with Nuala Madigan, Education Officer with Irish Peatland Conservation Council.

Still coming up is the Annual Celtic Lecture: - “Ancient Wisdom for new times” and of course the Afri Justice and Peace Conference which is pencilled in for Saturday February 4. The conference is completely booked out and the theme is “Fire and Food”.

Mayra Gomez from Bolivia, will speak at the event. Mayra has carried a flame for justice and peace for many years. She recently collected torches from indigenous elders, lit them from the Hiroshima Flame in Japan, and carried the flames around the world at key peace events before presenting them to the UN High Representative for Disarmament in New York. In Kildare, she will plant a seed and carry the Brigid flame.

Roisín O Brien will speak how she has changed her own way of living. In her workshops, the issue of food will be emphasised: the need to plant our own seeds, grow our own food, ensure access to food for all, support those saving seeds and oppose attempts to genetically modifying and patenting seeds.