With the Gathering on the horizon, Feile Bride is this year embracing the return of people from abroad as well as attracting locals as it marks its 21st year.
Sr. Mary Minehan, one of the driving forces behind the Feile, along with the Solas Bhride team, is very excited about this year’s programme.
“It will be the 21st Feile Bride in Kildare town. We want people to come to Kildare town in this, the year of the Gathering and celebrate Brigid and the first showings of Spring. The theme this year is “Gathering around the Hearth”,” she explained.
When asked how the Feile has continued to thrive over such a long period, Sr. Mary pointed out how the customs and traditions of St. Brigid are rooted in Kildare and still have relevance today.
Feile Bride runs from Sunday January 27 to Sunday February 3 with the first event lined up for 1pm on January 27. Kildare - Brigid’s Monastic City, is a guided walk around the various sites. Those interested in taking part are asked to meet at Market Square. The weaving of St. Brigid’s crosses takes place from 2.30pm to 4pm at Aras Bhride. On Tuesday at 4pm in the Heritage Centre, there will be the launch of Brigid’s Way - a new pilgrimage walk from St. Brigid’s shrine in Faughart, Co. Louth to Kildare town. The annual Celtic lecture will be delivered by Padraigin Clancy at Aras Bhride at 8pm. A permanent fixture in the programme which always attracts a crowd, is the Brigid’s Eve ritual at St. Brigid’s Well on Thursday 31 from 7.20am to 9.30pm. Those taking part are asked to assemble at the Japanese Gardens car park at 7.20pm. There will be a walk on the Curragh Plains at 1pm on February 1. There will be another opportunity to weave St. Brigid’s crosses at 1pm in the Heritage Centre. On Saturday February 2, the Afri Justice and Peace Conference takes place at the Osbourne Centre, Irish National Stud. It features Walking the Talk on the Curragh with John Feehan; and Wood for Life - Tom Roche of Just Forests takes the audience through a unique exhibition. It will also include a presentation from the local schools on Responding to Challenge of Climate Change. The conference, which is titled Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change, also features Dreaming for the Earth: Rose Kelly and Cormac Breatnach. Anyone wishing to attend can log on to www.feilebride2013afri.eventbrite.ie
There will also be a craft fair in the Heritage Centre from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3.
The final day also features the mass at St Brigid’s Well at 10.30am and a workshop facilitated by the Solas Bhride team at 12 noon at Aras Bhride. Throughout the week there will also be traditional music at various venues in the town. For further information contact the Solas Bhride team on 045 522890.
- Niamh O’Donoghue
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